Blogging challenge: day twenty

I have a folder on my desktop called ‘things to do one day’.

This is what’s inside:

  1. A half-finished PhotoShop file of some text effects I was trying re-create when I was teaching myself PhotoShop.
  2. A very badly designed menu that I was going to re-do as an example of how to apply basic design principles.
  3. A flyer for a ukulele workshop that has broken every design rule that exists, including using about eight ugly and incompatible fonts. Again I was going to use this as an example of what not to do on my other Design Basics blog.
  4. A complete set of slides that someone sent me because they are so atrocious. I’m not sure what I was planning to do with these, perhaps use them in a course that I sometimes teach on PowerPoint design.
  5. A slide I made one day when I was learning how to use PPT shapes. I never actually used this slide, even though it took me about three hours to make it. I still like it though, so I’ve included it in this post. Let me know what you think…
What does this tell me about myself?

I like to teach myself to do things, but I often give up before I have really mastered the new skill. Whilst I like learning, I lack the persistence it takes to become proficient. On the upside, this is something that I can work on.

It also tells me that I am quite critical of others (and myself). I’m not sure that this is a completely bad thing, but it’s not necessarily something that everyone welcomes. I need to be careful not to hurt people’s feelings.

Do you have a list of projects that you are going to tackle one day? What is stopping you from starting them right now?


Blogging challenge: day thirteen

If you decide to devote your life to a creative pursuit (and there nothing to say you have to) then this opens up a whole series of new challenges. You can’t just do the activity when you feel like it, you have to do it when you don’t feel like it. Your have to practice your craft relentlessly and methodically.

As Maisel says…

“When you decide to devote yourself to creativity in a specific area, you raise the stakes tremendously, you organise your life around the dream, and you find that your emotions rise and fall with your successes and failures”.

In other words, you really have to put yourself on the line if you are serious about your craft. Once you identify yourself as an artist you open yourself up to judgement and criticism and I think this is the part that scares me most, along with having to be actually good at something. Working hard enough to be good at something doesn’t really strike me as all that difficult. It’s being vulnerable that scares me.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize

Blogging challenge: day twelve

I’ve just started reading a book by Eric Maisel called “Creativity for Life” which is making me feel slightly anxious and a bit fluttery in the tummy. I don’t know if you have ever had this feeling? It’s the feeling you get when you read the work of someone who is able to capture ideas so perfectly that you wonder if you should just give up writing.

Rather than be daunted by these feelings, I thought I would just share some of his ideas – after all, if you yearn to be more creative, some of these ideas may resonate with you.

Maisel, a well-known creativity coach begins by talking about the different ways we can have a creative life. In the broadest sense, having a creative life encompasses having hobbies and pastimes, for example cooking, sewing and creating lovely things. People who see themselves as creative enjoy solving problems and like learning new skills. They see life as a challenge, rather than a chore. This can also be described as having a growth mindset. Maisel refers to this as being an ‘everyday creative’.

Everyday creatives love to surround themselves with beautiful things, they like interesting ideas, books, people and places, but there’s a whole other kind of creativity which revolves around having expertise in a specific field. Mastery requires a whole different set of skills, including persistence and patience. It’s the difference between imagining yourself as a writer and actually becoming a successful writer (or painter or artist). It’s the difference between daydreaming and sheer hard work.

Which one are you?