Everybody has the potential to be creative but many of us don't do anything to release that creativity. Self-doubt and apprehension about whether we even have the skill level to create something that is truly unique can stop a lot of us from even trying. Here's a personal story about how I'm trying to pull my finger out and reconnecting with my creative side along with some advice on how to do so.
Illustration by Spandas Lui
I've always been into drawing. I drew a lot of cartoon and anime characters when I was younger; there was a period when I obsessively drew one Dragon Ball Z character. My family strongly discouraged me from a career as an illustrator, claiming there was no money in it and that I'd have to be extraordinary good to succeed. So I put down my pencils and gave up on that frivolous pipe dream. I always thought about drawing again but I doubted my skills and never felt ready to start creating art again. And so it was for nearly a decade.
In more recent times, I finally decided to stop just thinking about drawing again and actually do it. My skills were rusty and while I sometimes ended up with work that I was proud of, there were a lot of failed projects as well. It's disheartening at times and I can already hear my parents' voices urging me to throw in the towel. But as Daniel Dipiazza, founder of Rich20Something, wrote on Entrepreneur:
"In order to grow and realise your true potential, you're going to have to expose yourself and your weaknesses to the elements. There's no safe way. There's no 'sugar-free' option… "[W]hat I'm suggesting is that you immediately and intentionally undergo a forced period of rapid study, rapid production and trial by fire designed to make you more creative and knowledgeable about your own skills/abilities. "The ultimate goal is to get you out of your head and urge you to produce something. After all, the root of all productivity is production."
I'm writing this article on a plane right now, biding my time as I struggle to think of anything to draw in my sketchbook. But I'll pick up my pencil and draw anyway. As Dipiazza said:
"You can create change in yourself by building better habits. You can create change for others by pulling them up when they’re down and giving them opportunities. And you can create change in the world by leaving something behind that’s uniquely yours. "So, it doesn't really matter if you feel 'ready' or if you're 'sure' of yourself. Just ship the damn thing. See what happens.
I look forward to being an illustrator one day. Are you currently pursuing something creative? Let us know in the comments.