Take a moment to consider this… What quality would you consider to be the most fundamental aspect of being creative? Lots of notable teachers in the space share common opinions. I’ve heard everything from being open to new experiences to being actively curious. I’ve heard really simple things like the awareness and intention to be more creative. I think each of these methods have merit and I believe that together they can create a truly empowered creative experience.
I propose that each of these tactics have a unifying theme.
The title for this little blurb was inspired by a book I read recently. “Creative Confidence” by Tom and David Kelley. The book outlines their concept of confidence as it relates to creative thinking. The book was actually fantastic and I highly recommend it for anyone pursuing a creative lifestyle.
I wrote this article with the intention to share my own opinions in contrast to what I learned in their book. I’m completely addicted to learning and I listen to about one audio book per week. In my immersion of education, I’ve gained lots of insights into my own learning process and I’ve found a few common principles for living a truly creative life.
First of all, we have to constantly be learning new things. I always like to use the analogy of a toolbox when referring to the mind. Your mind is a toolbox. Information and knowledge are your tools. The more tools you have, the more things you can build. It makes good, logical sense doesn’t it?
I’ve had the good fortune of meeting thousands of people in my adventures and I constantly notice something unique about creative people. They are veracious learners. For creators, it doesn’t matter what the skill is, as long as it’s interesting creative people will deep dive into a topic without hesitation.
If you’re anything like me, you were told growing up that you should specialize your skills. Get a good education and find a job in a field that you’re passionate about. Easy right? Well, until you’ve had the experience of looking at all your options… It becomes obvious that a single specialty is just not practical. I’ve always been given freedom to choose what I prefer and being faced with so many options, I feel it to be painfully impossible to pick just one thing to excel at.
Personally, I’m excited about the science of people. Anthropology. I’m extremely passionate about music and the arts. I’m an avid marketer and sales person. I’m a big tech geek and I’ve always loved speaking and performing as an orator. I’m an entrepreneur and an aspiring philanthropist. As I’m sure you can tell, each of these skills are very different. I don’t specialize in any single industry or narrow my options to select just one field of study. Along my path, these passion have naturally overlapped and I’ve found it very useful in practice to have multiple skill sets.
Creative Confidence to me, is having the ability to face obstacles.
I feel that being curious, staying open to the potential of new experiences and living a ‘fun’ life are the foundational aspects of living a fulfilled, creative existence. Without having the courage to face new challenges and overcome new barriers, we become apathetic. I believe that continuous learning is the fundamental key to being empowered, creatively.
Our lust for life exists in our ability to seek out new challenges, create new problems and really face life head-on with ambition and excitement about the unknown. I know that we are naturally courageous and creative people that are drawn to learn, explore and ponder the world around us. I feel that our society (unintentionally) teaches us to play it safe and follow the beaten path. I suggest to get lost, make messes and explore the possibilities of the world. We’re very fortunate to grow up in this day in age where the information of the world is at our fingertips… literally.
It’s a natural experience to be curious and wonder about things. If we spent more time in our days following our curiosities and courageously exploring this magnificent world around us, we would be actively living a creative life and be fulfilled in the process.
Here’s to your creative adventure, whatever it might be.
Go forward courageously, friends!
More About Chris:
Chris Cromwell is a visual artist based in Calgary, Alberta. After losing both parents in 2011, Chris quit his day job and started pursuing art full time. Jumping in head first gave him valuable insights into how much work it actually takes to survive and thrive as an artist. Read more about Chris Cromwell here.