One reason for discounting our creative abilities is comparing ourselves to other people, especially well-known and successful artists, such as millionaire novelist Dean Koontz.
And myths about artists being “crazy” or “starving” may also influence how much we may be motivated to live a creative life.
But some people need to first get past the insidious idea that they are “not creative.”
“Anyone who says ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body’ is seriously underestimating their skeleton. More to the point, they are drastically undervaluing their brain.”
From article 10 Reasons Why We Struggle With Creativity by David DiSalvo [on Forbes.com] – author of What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite.
Do you compare yourself with other creative people, especially the “big names”?
Maybe you say things like: “I don’t have their talent” or “They’ve been lucky” or “I can’t paint.”
Really? Even some animals create “artwork” or at least something that may get called art.
I’ve seen paintings in galleries that didn’t look much more sophisticated than this piece by an elephant “artist” – who even has an “agent” that sells their work.
[The photo is from The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project.]
Author Betty Edwards asks, “Why do we assume that a rare and special ‘artistic’ talent is required for drawing? We don’t make that assumption about other kinds of abilities.
“If you can catch a baseball, thread a needle, or hold a pencil and write your name, you can learn to draw skillfully, artistically, and creatively.”
From her book Drawing on the Artist Within.
Many artists create work to present a fuller and more authentic representation of themselves and other people than what appears in entertainment media.
Artist Laura Molina writes in her Artist’s Statement: “As an educated, native-born, English-speaking, fifth generation Mexican-American and a feminist, there is almost no reflection of me in the movies or television, which is almost as bad as being stereotyped.
“My paintings make my own statement that I am true to my emotions even if they are unpleasant ones like rage and obsession which may upset the viewer and I boldly declare that my passions, needs and desires are not pathological…”
The photo is Molina working on her painting “Amor Alien.” She has stopped producing visual artwork to write her first novel, ‘The Red Moon’. See her site lauramolina.com.
Read more on this topic of creative expression and identity in my much longer article on Scribd:
Be More Creative: What Is Your Self Concept?