How to Unleash Your Creativity in 2018
The dawn of a new year is exciting because it is a chance to start fresh. A new year reminds us to be adventurous and explore the endless possibilities that life has to offer. When the clock strikes midnight we are ready to take on the world and feel invincible. After all, a new year reminds us of the ambitious goals that we would like to achieve.
All of the creative projects we put off will now be completed, the vacations that we passed up last year will be taken, and we vow to commit more time to perfecting our craft. We feel so empowered by our newly found positivity, until reality sets in and we start to doubt our abilities all over again. If you find yourself stuck in this cycle, we’ve listed some tips to help you start 2018 on the right track.
#1. STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF
How did you go from being motivated at the beginning of the year to feeling frustrated with reaching your goals as the year ticks on? We are aware that life happens and you can’t control the unforeseen. However, you can control the way you view yourself and your work. And if you’ve already convinced yourself that you will never be as good as you want to be, you’re already off to a bad start. Self-doubt is one of the biggest enemies of creatives and can cripple you to the point where you stop trying all together. Your confidence builds when you repeatedly tell yourself that you can instead of can’t. Becoming your biggest cheerleader will help you stay equipped with the encouragement needed to push through just about any challenge.
Keeping a positive mindset will help boost your confidence. (Photo: © The Creative Armory)
#2. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
It’s high time to stop comparing your progression and work to others and focus on nurturing your unique skill-set. If you don’t have confidence in your own work how can you expect others to? Just think about the time you’ve spent putting yourself down because you aren’t enjoying the successes that other people are. We’re here to remind you that success isn’t an overnight gig that’s somehow based on your age. Famed artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon describes herself as a “late bloomer” in one of her blog post stating “I did not begin my art career in earnest till I was 40. ” Lisa Congdon, On Getting Older.
It’s ok to evaluate your progression from time to time, but don’t be so hard on yourself. You are equipped with a special talent and it’s time to start using it. Remember, practice makes perfect. In an interview with FEL3000ft, he reminded us that putting 100% effort into your projects will help strengthen your skills as an artist and build your confidence along the way.
#3. STOP OVERTHINKING
This is a big one. Please, let us repeat, PLEASE stop hindering yourself from putting your work into the world by over thinking. Over-thinking can be caused by uncertainty or fear of failure. While these feelings are common when exploring a new venture, neither aid in helping you be productive.
Overthinking can hinder you from making progress with your goals. (Photo: Andrew Neel/Unsplash)
Everyone fails at one point or another. Failure is a lesson that teaches you what not to do the next time around. It can actually show you how to be bigger and better. If you spend too much time mulling over whether to take a chance, you may miss a window of opportunity. How else do you expect to find out if you could have been successful if you don’t even try? We’re giving you permission to have faith in yourself. Stop thinking about what you want to do and start doing it.
#4. STOP HIDING AND GET OUT THERE
You may produce some of the best work the world has ever seen, but no one will ever know if you don’t show it. Showcasing your products and/or designs for random strangers to critique can be uncomfortable. But if you are trying to land the career of your dreams or start your own business, sitting around waiting to be discovered may not work in your favor. Your future clients and employers will always want to see samples of your work. So it’s never a bad idea to create a personal website housing your portfolio, or post some examples on sites such as Behance, Dribble, or Instagram.
Always keep in mind that your work has the potential to inspire someone else. Keeping it hidden away is not giving it a chance to benefit you or anyone else. If you still feel unsure about showcasing your work online, you can ease into being more social by attending a networking event. One of our favorites is DrinksxDesign, hosted by Detroit Creative Corridor Center. This event is held the second Thursday of every month and is a great way to meet fellow creatives that you can learn from or partner with on future projects.
DrinksxDesign is a great way to meet peers and network. (Photo: The Creative Armory)
#5. JUST BE YOU
A big part of connecting with your inner artist is embracing who you are as an individual. Having views and opinions that differ from those around you doesn’t mean that you’re “weird”. You simply analyze things from a different perspective and that’s ok. The beauty of being your own person is not having to conform to anyone else’s way of thinking or feeling. When it boils down to it, your choice of music, wardrobe, and even the hobbies you enjoy are all forms of creative expression that help influence your design style. So don’t spin your wheels trying to be a copy of someone else. Embrace the fact that you are unique and give yourself time to develop around that. There will be others that try and mimic your style, but no one will ever truly be you. And with billions of people in the world, that’s pretty awesome when you think about it.
Embracing what makes you unique helps to define your style. (Photo: Unknown)
#6. TAKE A BREAK
Over-working can take a toll on your mind and body. You may think you don’t deserve to rest until you’ve reached the point of sheer exhaustion, but it’s important to know when to take a break in order to avoid total burnout. Think of it as going to the gym to exercise; you can only work out for so long and need to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Your brain goes through a similar type of workout when you constantly use your imagination to churn out creative ideas. At some point it needs to stop flexing, get some rest, and replenish.
Relax and boost your creativity by exploring something new. (Photo: Annie Spratt/Unplash)
Taking some time for yourself will help you de-stress and return to your work with fresh, new energy. Having a renewed sense of positivity may even help you tackle your projects in a way you never thought of before. When it comes time to blow off some steam try meeting some close friends over coffee, visit the DIA, or take a vacation. Traveling is a great way to change your daily surroundings and generate new ideas.
The world is always in need of creative ideas and voices; don’t stifle yours out. Now is the time to stop holding back and allow yourself to shine. Embrace whatever challenges you face and use them as learning tools. By believing in yourself and working to strengthen your skills, there is no doubt that 2018 can be your year.
What are your goals for 2018? Tell us in the comments!