Some of you may know I have face book group "inspiration in everyday" where folks share their inspirations in relation to art beads. Most share jewelry, I share beads because that is what I make most. The concept is to share what you create, but just as important, share also what inspired you.
Here is what I shared this month, both photo and text:
So..... I got inspired by garlic!! I'm so strange! I know! I cut the bottom end of a bulb of garlic and when I looked at it - I was curious what it would look like pressed into porcelain. On the right is the result after pressing the garlic and adding a brown stain and some hand painted designs with black. So technically it is a garlic pendant I suppose! But no - I don't live in fear of vampires lol!! I just love pressing various textures into clay😀! Inspiration is all around!!
I get a lot of enjoyment from pressing random things into clay and learning the result, but I don't always put the results out there for the world to see. What stops me? If I'm honest, fear of rejection! It was not so hard to share the results in the small, humble face book group of encouraging people! But was I planning on offering this pendant for sale, where it could be rejected? No! I would self talk myself into thinking no one would want to buy my artistic, but still garlic inspired pendant, its much to odd!
But Something surprising happened and made me think about how often negative self talk must stop my artistic growth! What happened was someone private messaged me asking if they could buy the pendant. The very pendant I never would have listed for sale thinking no one would want it! So it's helped me to reflect, and hopefully grow a little more courage next time my inspiration takes me down an unusual path. There are others out there that appreciate unusual things as much as I do, and I should not let fear stop me from putting my unusual work out there! This incident has lead me to my post for today about the things that kill inspiration.
At times inspiration can start out small and often be quite fleeting. There are also times it can be very loud and in your face! Some artists have referenced having to wrestle with inspiration in order to get or keep grip of it, while some have painted a mental picture of gently catching inspiration like you would a butterfly, treating it ever so delicately. Others can even claim inspirations can fall right into their lap, completely unexpectedly!! I'm sure many artists and designers relate to one or all of the above, and have even more ways they come into inspiration!
So whether you go out and desperately search for, chase after, forcefully wrestle, cling to, catch, or just be ready when inspiration hits you - what you don't want to do is KILL it!!
So let's talk about what kills inspiration so we can learn ways to avoid killing it!
I like the mental picture of inspiration being a tiny sprouted plant under the care of the inspired artist/designer. This is also why you might see me use the word cultivate - a lot! The sew and reap concept is a very important one to me. Investment of time and resources is crucial in any area we want to see growth!!
Here are 3 Things that I have come up with that will kill inspiration, along with some thoughts on overcoming them:
1. Lies that bring forth self doubt! Lies such as, but certainly not limited to;
-" If you cannot win, you should not play" - Oh, how tragic! All the beauty and learning through the process you will miss if you believe this lie!!
-"I'm not good enough, smart enough, creative enough, skilled enough, and so on, and so on" The never ending I'm not ________ enough! This is negative self talk and it's best to just send it away as soon as it comes! It is never helpful! Something I heard once that has stuck with me is -" If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them!"
The truth is where you are at on your journey is a great place as long as you are moving in the right direction. You will get better the more you practice, so don't waste time worrying about what you think are your shortcomings, or comparing yourself to others! Here is a quote I like - "Don't compare your beginnings to someone else's middle " Alexander K Trenfor
2. Fear of failure. Failure is painful, yes! The tragedy that happens with fear of failure, is not only does it halt growth, but it stops you from taking risks. Risk taking is a crucial to bringing forth creative ideas!
Cultivate a growth mindset, allow failure to be part of your process. Choose to learn from it rather than be stunted by it. I have failed so many, many, times, so you can take it from me - it gets easier the more you do it!
I will share a personal example of failure, I have lots to choose from! I make ceramic art beads. Living in a rural Canadian area, there is little market for ceramic art beads. Quite a while back I signed up to do a local craft fair. I thought maybe I could sell my art bead pendants by stringing them onto necklaces of silk cording (mostly because I like silk cording). I sold some items but I did not sell a single necklace at the craft show. Although the failure did not feel so nice, I chose to ask myself questions, rather than give up and decide to never do a show again. As an artist, I could have taken it as personal rejection . I could have thought my art beads were no good. Growth could have ended right then and there for me! But I did not let that happen! Through a process of questions I asked myself, I ended up learning that although I love hand dyed silk cord, others in my area prefer chain. I also learned better ways to display necklaces. When I fail there is a song that comes to mind about getting knocked down, and getting back up again!! If you get knocked down, get back up, and learn what to do differently next time! Grow, and consider yourself wiser! And find something else to do with all the silk cord you bought in bulk - oh wait - that last part might just be advice for me only!
3. Perfectionism, friend or foe? If perfectionism keeps you from perusing your inspiration, it will stunt your growth the same way fear of failure will. It will also keep you from taking important, necessary to risks. Sometimes perfectionism can be helpful. It can push you further and help you get to the next level. If that is the case, use it! If it is stopping you, or holding you back, let it go!!
Here is something to try, that might help you if perfectionism is what holds you back. Ask yourself, what will happen if I do go for it? Then ask yourself what will happen if I don't? Answering these two questions will help you come to the realization that perfectionism is only keeping you from moving forward! Even if things don't turn out perfect, the sun will continue to rise, and set. The birds will still chirp, and life will go on, and the best part is, you allowed for growth!!
So protect that tiny sprout of inspiration and give it the best possible chance to grow. Don't allow the dangers that be, destroy it! Nurture it as though your creative growth depends on it!
Next month I'm away all month so I won't be around to choose a random winner for the "Inspiration in everyday " monthly prize. So, what I am doing instead is offering 4 of these "inspire" bead combos so that in August 4 of you that share your inspirations over the next 2 months will win one of these sets:
So if you have not joined the group yet, you can here and share what inspires you! I would love to see the things that inspire you! Hey, I never mentioned yet where I am going next month! Well, I'm pretty excited that half of the time I'm away, will be spent in Italy!! It's an insanely exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to sharing some inspiring things from my time there!! I have been there once before and found it to be endlessly inspiring!
Take care and wishing you all - inspiration in everyday!!
Terri Del Signore