I have found some of the most unusual inspirations along the creative path as an artist. I may be the only one who finds freedom and renewed passion in these quirky anti-inspirations, but I’ll share this latest one with you, just in case it helps you too!
Here’s how it goes…
My passion for drawing and painting starts to flag, droop, wither, recede. Whatever the description, I tend to first label it as don’t-have-enough-time, or i’ve-drawn-all-this-before, etc. But if I really dig deep and get totally honest with myself, I realize that sometimes lurking behind the flagging passion is an insidious thought that what I do just isn’t special. This thought somehow creeps in (might it be from comparing my art to the reams of other awesome online artists…maybe?) and I begin to look at my drawings and paintings as run-of-the-mill, everyone-else-does-this-and-better, nothing-unique, nuttin’-special.
Yes, there it is folks! Someone who has been painting and drawing for nigh unto 20 years now, still…STILL…has these stupid thoughts running amuck from time to time. The struggle is real. Very real.
On my daily walk a few days ago, as I took a good look at this crazy belief that had snuck into my artist’s heart through the back door, I actually had this thought:
You need to embrace the possibility that you are not unique!
I stopped walking. I looked around. And wondered where in the world this could have come from. I rolled that phrase over in my head again:
Embrace your UN-uniqueness!
Let go of the demand to be special in the art world.
Be free of the need to stake out artistic territory that is only yours.
Just be YOU. Whatever that is. However it looks on the page. Wherever your pen takes you. Just Draw. And Draw. And Draw!
And the strangest thing happened…I felt light as a feather! I started walking again, faster than I had before all this, running this new, surprising inspiration through the cobwebs of my artsy heart. It swept it out clean!
And each day since, I waken to a renewed excitement about lines on a page, wondering where they will take me today. As much as I, as a teacher, might not ever want to say to you that you are not unique, I do think the pressure to BE unique can really get us in a bind. Setting ourselves free from the net of having to be special, allows us to swim with abandon, in any direction we’d like to go!
Try it…embrace your UN-uniqueness…and see what happens!
P.S. As always…you can follow these daily #Inktober drawings on my Instagram feed. 🙂
10 thoughts on “The Anti-Inspiration that Works!”
Wahoo! I’m going to swim with abandon! Thanks for sharing this needed dose of wonderful reality.
So glad it is helpful for you Margaret! It’s a bit weird, but so good to be unhinged from having to achieve or uphold the “unique” label. Have a lovely, artful day!
I am so encouragred. I choked up throug much of this. And then picked up my pen.to be untreated…
Love you Da! Keep drawing and acting…to me, you are definitely one of a kind!
This is thought-provoking Jennifer and timely too as I’ve been battling the same pressure for the past week or so. I’ll be mulling over this today in order to free myself from the shackles and move forward on my creative path. Thanks Jennifer and have a blessed day.
I’m happy this is helpful for you Cheryl! It seems odd to rearrange one’s thoughts that I’m not so special as “all that”, as my kids say. But it really is freeing since I then have nothing to prove to anyone. I just get to delight in drawing and painting and making a beautiful life! Have a lovely artful day!
Yup, I get a version of this too. It generally goes, “Not only is this not unique, but no one needs it anyway.” The antidote, of course, is “I need it.”
Yes! I have that one run through my head as well! Perfect antidote! And often, others need our art as well. Or at least, my family and friends need the sanity that my art brings me! :0 Have an artful day Kristy!
Hi Jennifer, I came across your blog today after someone posted your “Why I Draw” video. Gosh, everything you said in your post today resonates with me so deeply! I am and have felt really lost in terms of “who I am as a new artist”, what kind of art do I represent. It’s like I am trying to box myself into something that can be defined instead of rejoycing in just being me. I know I spend too much time looking at other inspirational work from other artists, instead of just drawing whatever comes out of my pen! Thank you for this post, at the end of the day surely I should be drawing for me, and not to feel accepted by others! I have subscribed to your Blog so that I don’t miss out!
Hi Brenda! I’m so glad this is helpful to you in your ongoing creative journey. I so understand the getting lost in wondering “who I am as a new artist”. I also struggle with this as I have and continue to paint and draw in many different mediums and subject matter. The thing that helps me is that I have a calling to put on paper the beauty I see in this life I’ve been granted. Not just beautiful beauty, but even the kind that comes to us through hardship and difficulty. I hope you continue to feel free in creating whatever your heart desires! Thank you for following my blog too! Have a lovely day! -Jennifer