This is a post I wrote in 2008 on my personal blog, however am republishing it as I think it holds up well and will be a good catalyst for your New Year. I wish you all the best in 2021 and hope you will take as many experiences from 2020 as you can that help you live better in the future.
I have a theory. I believe that the ability to make art, whether music, drawing, cooking, painting, sculpting, writing — it doesn’t matter what kind — is an inherently human trait.
Anyone who makes the statement “I am not creative” is wrong. Translated, it really means “I never tried”.
I’ve been told I am lucky to have found a passion in making music in my free time as a non-profit artist. It’s really not luck at all, I am no more skilled in writing it (or enjoying that process) than you can be. The only difference is, I have put forth hours, days, weeks, months and years of my life into it.
We are hard-wired for creativity. It is just a matter of honing it to a specific craft. And, it is perhaps one of the most rewarding feelings you can have — giving life to something original from within yourself to share with the world purely for intrinsic value.
Not convinced you should be an artist yet? Here’s some reasons I jotted down for you to consider it:
1) Creativity breeds success
Whether you’re in marketing, are an entrepreneur, or any part of the business world, it is vital to culture internal creativity. I know it has been an important part of any of my successes.
2) Do you watch TV? Make art instead
What if, instead of being passively entertained, you could actively engage your mind in something that instead of leaving you empty inside, left you fulfilled and glowing. Try it.
3) Art is a lifelong challenge and infinite intellectual puzzle
The deeper I progress in my art, the less I feel like I know. And that’s amazing because it provides a sense that so much is yet to be discovered. This inspires internal motivation for not only my art, but all areas of my life.
4) You’ll meet interesting people and make real connections
Art is a great enabler of opening us up to each other and a guaranteed way to connect with like-minded people.
5) Digital technologies enable you to easily share your results with the world
Whether you’re into music, photography or visual art, it’s now as easy as clicking a mouse to share your results with thousands, even millions of people. Even if your art isn’t digital art, you can easily take a picture, make a video, or make a recording and share it online. The tools are completely democratized.
6) There is no greater feeling of freedom
Getting lost in the moment while creating art is liberating beyond anything else I have experienced.
7) There is no wrong answer
You can make anything you want, and if it is pleasing to you, it is successful, there is never a wrong answer. You don’t even have to share it with the world, in fact I probably share only about 1% of what I make with the world. It is always more enjoyable to make art for intrinsic reasons than extrinsic.
8) Yes, you can
I stated this in the introduction, but I’ll say it again: to be a human being is to be a creature of creativity. Art and creative, expressive freedom is something that each and every person is capable of. To not at least create some art is to not fully embrace your internal capabilities.
9) Cooking is art, writing is art, comedy is art, photography is art, gardening is art…
Art is really whatever you make of it, the definition is so wide open. What I’m getting at is don’t be constrained in your thinking of what art is. Find what creative outlet vibes with your personality and what comes naturally and you’ll know it’s right for you.
10) You will learn things about yourself you didn’t know
During hours spent alone engaged in your creative task, your thoughts and mindset will be shifted into a state of complete freedom from stress, anxiety and negativity. Having a flow experience is something beyond words.
11) You will challenge yourself to consistently grow
One of the most rewarding things about making art is the fact that it is never complete, and once you get really into it, you will start on a quest of deep personal development.
12) Making art is the ultimate brain boost
Once engaged in a form of art, your mind will constantly be churning with new thoughts, ideas and imagery in a positive way. People talk about mental supplements, vitamins, etc. none of that has any effect. Engaging your brain in creativity and actively creating your own art is the ultimate mental boost that will carry over into your everyday life.
13) You might not ever make a dime, and be completely fine with it
I certainly have spent more money on music gear and hours making music than I have received in monetary returns. And, that doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I would be fine with if I had never even made a cent off any of my art. That’s just not the point.
14) It will change your way of thinking about the world
In a good kind of way. You will start to see beauty and patterns in things you did not before.
15) You’ll work infinitely better with your creative team members
If you work with graphic designers, advertising people, or marketers you’ll understand what motivates these creative types. The best graphic designers are independent artists in their personal time. The best advertising people produce content for fun when not making creative for clients.
16) Art is the most intimate form of self expression
And a way to connect with others on a deeper level than anything else.
17) Find passion again
If you have lost that passion you once had for life, finding a form of art to work on is a surefire way to re-spark it.
18) Change people’s lives, make others think
An amazing, unexpected byproduct of making art is that you can bring happiness to thousands of people you’ll never meet (this is something amazing about sharing art through digital technologies). And, once in awhile you’ll get an email from someone letting you know how much your art means to them. It’s an indescribable feeling.
19) Finding meaning
You can find incredible meaning in life by pursuing creative expression. It can be just what you need to conquer internal negativity and conflicts and experience personal growth.
20) Spending time alone can be beautiful
Many in society have a fear of being alone. But, I can guarantee you artists are not among those who fear solitude. In fact, they embrace it and find that time to be some of their favorite moments alive while working on their craft.
21) An outlet for excessive emotion
Feeling frustrated, depressed, anxious, angry? Art is the ultimate personal healer during stressful times.
Art is something amazing all passionate individuals can make a part of their lives.
No matter what type of art you make, it is one of the most fulfilling things you can do as a conscious and creative person. I not only find it a driving force in my life, but have witnessed what happens to someone when they get involved as well.
The transformation of those people into more positive, well-rounded human beings is true, honest and incredible to witness first-hand. As an artist, I have taken much time to help others who came to me looking for guidance in helping them find their path. If you’re an artist, this is something you have probably experienced too. This can be even more fulfilling than creating your own art.
A form of art is within you as well, I am sure of it.