It is my theory that we all have a creative instinct, but we allow our inner critic (or outside critics) to prevent ourselves from self-expression.
First of all, where does this creative instinct come from?
I think the creative instinct is inside our human DNA. Without an impulse to create, transform, and mould our lives and world —we wouldn’t have been able to survive as human beings.
In today’s modern world, we are punished with comfort and predictability. In our daily lives, we no longer need to really challenge ourselves to survive. We just put in our 40 hour workweeks, and then in our free and leisure time, we have no idea what to do with ourselves. Thus we distract ourselves with passive entertainment, and fantasize.
However I think in order to feel the fullest range of joy in life, we must indulge our creative impulses to the maximum.
What is the creative impulse?
I believe the creative impulse is the desire and the “must” of making something. Making art, making conversation, making solutions to problems, and using our strengths, talents, and brains to create things/ideas/stuff.
We can fulfill our creative impulses by making photos, making poetry, making video slideshows, making music, dancing, singing, or putting our bodies or minds into motion.
What happens when we prevent ourselves from fulfilling our creative impulse?
When we prevent ourselves from expressing our creative impulse, we get frustrated, angry, depressed, and docile. We become like dogs who are repeatedly shocked into submission (psychologists call this “learned helplessness”.
Learned helplessness means that we learn to feel helpless. We don’t feel like we have control, autonomy, or that we cannot change the direction of our lives. To me, happiness is best manifested through having agency and freedom in our lives. Thus, anything that prevents us from expressing our creative will kills our human spirit.
How to allow your creative spirit to flourish
- Ignore your inner critic
- Ignore the criticisms or the nay saying of others
- Treat everything you do as a small and fun experiment (don’t get attached to the results of your creative experiment)
- Don’t define your art or the genre of art you make: this will allow you to pursue any form of art, and not become the prisoner of a genre.
- Make something 80% “good enough” and simply hit “publish”.
- Don’t share your work on social media (Facebook, Instagram)— publish to your own website or blog instead (you will have more flexibility and freedom of self-expression, without getting censored or trapped in their social media profile template).
Photography and art is all about self-expression. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to express yourself. Just express yourself, genuinely, with no filter, or concern how others will judge you.
Books and tools to stimulate your creative instinct:
INSPIRE YOURSELF with HAPTIC.
- Avoid Anything That Makes You Unproductive in Your Art
- Pictures Should Stimulate Your Life!
- How to Create More Pictures
- How to Shoot More Photos
- How to Be a Passionate Photographer
- Make More Than You Take
- NEVER COMPROMISE.
- Why Photography is the Best Art Form.
- How to become unstuck.
- How to Become a FEARLESS Artist
- KANDINSKY: THE ARTIST IS THE PROPHET
- How to Have More Creative Confidence in Your Photography
- How to Make More Art
- YOU CAN DO ANYTHING
- How Not to Give a Fuck What Others Think of Your Photography
- Is Photography Art?
- Leonardo da Vinci: Art, Photography, and Life Lessons
- How to Make Better Photos
- The Art of Street Photography
- The Art of Photography
- How to Conquer Your Fears in Art
- How to Be a More Productive Artist
- How to Have More Confidence as an Artist
- Make Photos for the Sake of Making Photos
- Make, Don’t Take Photos
- Perfect Pearl
- Make Photos to Delight Your Soul
- Revel in Your Defective Artistry
- Photography is Poetry Without Words
- Labor to Make Your Photos Concise