Sometimes it's a busy schedule, a health issue, a family crisis - difficult things that we have to wade through and grab onto little bits of creative times when we can.
Other times it's a matter of psyching ourselves out. Comparing ourselves to others, feeling our work is not good enough, feeling envious of someone's success, not feeling like you have anything new to say or create. Comparison really is the thief of joy. It can zap your enthusiasm and energy, it can shrivel up a long hoped for dream like a little raisin.
I've been reading an excellent book called, "I Just Like to Make Things" by Lilla Rogers. It's geared more toward 2-d artists but there are some amazing lessons for all creatives in the book on how to deal with the common inner struggles of the artist. Below are a few things I've learned from the book:
So what makes you joyful, what makes you feel alive? How can you bring that joy into your jewelry? What you are in love with and excited about? That's what's going to help you succeed. Create things you absolutely love.
Whenever you are starting to compare yourself to others bring it back to joy - what's your joy? What makes you deliriously happy and then go work on it!
Change envy into admiration and then into action.
When you feel envy or like your work isn't as good, ask yourself what is that you admire about that artist? What specifically has captured your attention? What could you do to improve your work based on what you admire? Create an action plan.
So, if you love a designer's website ask yourself what specifically do you love? Her photographs. What could you do? Learn to take better photos. Your plan on action? Take an digital photography class.
Improve your Skills by Practice and Instruction
There is no short cut, you have to put in the practice and learn the basics to improve your craft. Take classes, read books, watch videos and make, make, make. The more you create the better your work will get, it's a proven fact!
Find your Niche
The sooner you find a niche, a speciality, a common thread in your work that you are known for, the easier it will be to reach out to the audience that loves what you make! You have a voice, a unique and beautiful voice. Yes, you! Don't doubt it for a second!
Join me over on my blog to get your jewelry making mojo back! I'm hosting a 12-week challenge to help inspire and encourage others to jump in and get creating.
Thank you for this. I am constantly comparing my work to others' and coming up short. Great reminder. Thank you!
Great pep talk!
I agree with the others . good pep talk . the item i have the most trouble with is finding my NICHE. I create many different styles of jewellery and as yet none seem to be special or different or ME. How does one know when one has found their true niche / style?
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