Friday, May 3, 2013

How to Achieve Success in Creativity

The tortoise won the race, not because of speed, but because he kept working.  He didn't take a rest.  The finish line was where his rest was waiting for him.  He succeeded because he followed one tiny step with another inspite of the obstacles and the opponent's skills.  This is how you achieve success in creativity too, but it has taken me years to learn that lesson.

How many times have I gotten frustrated with something because I couldn't get it done as quickly as I anticipated and walked away from it?  I could point to small things like the stenciling I started in my kitchen 10 years ago and never went back to because I realized it was taking to much time and boring me to tears.  I could then think of other things like the lack of determination to do something with my art talents. I chose to not pursue my art because it seemed too hard to make the pieces and then to find a place to show them, because, what if in the end, no one was interested?

I have always been in a hurry.  Gotta get it done now or it will never get done, right?  If I knew the job would require a long drawn out wait, I would probably abandon it.  I wonder with dismay how many successes I have passed up on because I gave up before I even started.

But for some reason, I still want to write and create visual art.  Why have I kept that dream in my heart like a little nugget, hidden but quietly burning under all of the clutter?  Then every once in a while, I would find it again.  I would take it out, brush it off and dream.  Then I would start a project and before long, the urgency of life and my own lack of will power would cause me to toss the dream away, back into the dark places of my psyche.

But millions of other people have the will. Fortunately for me, I get to be around some of them.  They have taken their dreams and walked out the journey to make them reality.  They take the baby steps and one step at a time, come to the destination of seeing their dream happening.

I follow Graham Bradshaw on Face book.  He is a graphite pencil artist, capable of making the most amazing photo realistic art.  I enjoy how he posts progress photos so we can see his journey.  He has mentioned that he is a part time artist, working full time at a job that is not so creative but pays well and he is so gracious to say how thankful he is for that job which supports his family.  But his art has to wait for those stolen moments when the kids are finally in bed or a weekend gives him a stretch of time.  And he seems to be okay with waiting.  Art is food for his soul, not food on the table but it is just as nourishing and he is willing to do what it takes to make that art.

Another friend I have is a dog groomer.  She does it out of her home and it is a source of pride and satisfaction for her, not just income.  She took her inner frustrations and focused them into a business.  She is a craftswoman who sees people pleased with her work and those people are a source of enjoyment for her.  She says it took her a few years to get really good at her craft, she didn't have much support from those close to her and she wasn't even sure at first if she would ever get any customers, but eventually they came and she now has a business that is just right for her.  And she has is because she was willing to do the work, and wait.

My friend has told me she wishes she had started her career sooner.  She had to overcome personal issues, but she finally took that step and she has not looked back.  Though her craft and mine are not the same, the determination needed to make either of them happen is.

I so appreciate the examples of determined people I have around me.  They are mentors to me, showing me the value of waiting and being patient while I continue to work to excel at my craft.  I learn from their example and gather strength from their experience.

I hope you will be encouraged to wait patiently as you do the work of your art, whatever form it may take.  If this post has helped, I'd love to know. Please leave a comment.  And if you have a story from your own life or from the life of someone you know, please share it here. Thanks for stopping by!