Over the years I have sought out creative inspiration from many places. The internet has given me inspiration to create and to always try to take it to the next level. The internet is not always kind in return however. In the past, you would do work and a small audience would have access to it. If you did any sort of creating, it usually didn’t make it to far outside of your city. It wasn’t until the first form of mass media communication came along that we were able to spread the word about something across the entire United States, or World for that matter. Even then, the voices of the mass media decided if it was good or not. Today, everybody has a voice and they enjoy using it. The internet has given each individual a voice and the ability to judge. Being creative is a much scarier thing to do than it used to be.
When I started creating I knew I was not creating on the level in which I wanted to be. I was new and it was discouraging because I knew that I had an eye for creating but my experience wasn’t there. What I was creating did not measure up to the level in which I wanted to be creating on. During that time of my life I was single and had nothing but time on my hands. Had I started creating now, during the chapter of my life I am in currently, I don’t think I would have made it.
I came across this video which sums it up pretty well. I had good taste and that is what got me into creating in the first place, however I did not have the expertise to pull it off just yet. I did not understand the tools and was not confident enough with them. With practice and patience I was able to overcome that. Through doing work and trying things, I was able to reach a new level where I could create well.
What is great about the creative mind is that it continuously needs to be stimulated. There have been times when I have been less creative because I was focusing on another type of work. When I needed to create again, it took me a while to get back to where I was. It was as if I was a track runner who took a year off from running. There was a short period of time where I needed to regain creative stamina. I was able to overcome this setback by doing work.
I have came to understand that it does not matter what you are doing, the simple art of doing it often with repetition is what makes you great at it. I guess this goes back to what we were told as kids, “practice makes perfect.” I feel like we are told a lot of things as children but must experience them first hand for them to become practical wisdom.
If you relate to any of this at all, my advice to you is to keep at it and not to quit. When you quit you are leaving a void in your heart and soul that you will never be able to fill any other way. We are creative beings that desire to express ourselves in different ways, it’s Biblical (Exodus 35:31-32, Proverbs 22:29, 1 Timothy 4:14).
It is easy for us to try and measure up to someone else (Romans 12:6). The internet makes this easy to do. If I have learned one thing about trying to compare yourself to someone else I have learned this: People only put their best work on display. There is much failure that comes before producing something amazing. If you search the internet hard enough you can find many of my failures and I’m sure you can find the same with others. Even though it is easy to do, you don’t have to put everything you do on public display. There only true way to get good at something is to produce.
Just because it seems like someone else is better or faster than you does not mean you should give up and try something else. I have an artistic friend who I introduced to Adobe Illustrator and with in weeks he was running circles around me. Sure it was a bit humbling, but he was an artist to begin with, I simply introduced a new tool. I have another friend who I introduced to video and video editing. Now he is creating amazing work for his clients. I don’t see the success of others as a stumbling block. I see it as a chance for me to keep stepping up my game. If I was the only player in town, my work would be junk. I would have no reason to create good work for my clients and myself. I wouldn’t know any different. I am thankful that better work than mine is one click away. It keeps me on my toes.
We live in a world where patience is not a virtue. We have access to pretty much anything we want with in minutes however talent can not be instantaneous. Someone may become an overnight success but that success came out of years of practice and hard work. My hope is that you continue to try and believe in your ability to create. Don’t give up on it.