An open letter to creators who are finding it hard to grow.
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Dear Creative Person,
Did you create that masterpiece you had in mind last night before going to sleep? Or did you just leave it right there in your mind because your last post on social media did not receive enough likes? Did you question your imagination 100 times because a fellow artist shared the screenshot of their Instagram post insights? I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that all your wonderful ideas are now tucked inside the abandoned cupboard in some corner of your brain. After all this chaos if you still have that spark left in you, then this letter is for you.
Remember how coloring outside the line was so much fun in first grade? Because those imperfect artworks never made it to social media and your younger self never got a chance to compare yourself with others. Those were the better days when your urge to spill the color was not confined to a thin line. But, at the end of the day, you were so proud of your work that you would show it to every person who visited your house. My dear creative person, please bring back that child from first grade and start coloring outside the lines.
Remember how none of your relatives questioned why you are into coloring books? They all encouraged you to spend time productively instead of watching TV. But seems like they are against their own encouragement now and constantly wondering why you took creativity so seriously. Funny how time changes and how people evolve in the opposite direction, isn’t it? My dear creative person, please continue to indulge in what you are doing because there is a lot more to this life than abiding by the ever-changing rules of the human race.
This illusion of “growth” has created a transparent shell around us and it is the reason why every morning we wake up and check how many followers and likes we have gained. There is this thing about growth; it’s not evident all the time. Sometimes you have to give a personal definition to growth and see yourself from your point of view. Because your creativity is immeasurable! Don’t scale it based on the number of likes, followers, and conversion. My dear creative person, please create because you love it, not because the algorithm wants you to post artwork regularly.
Somewhere in between finding peace in making art and wanting to make a career in it, we lost ourselves. We let other’s idea of growth blur the sole purpose behind why we chose to walk on this path. We let others decide about the belief we should have, and that’s when we made the tougher choice for ourselves. Apparently, you can’t make everyone happy; not because you are not chocolate but because not everybody has a sweet tooth. My dear creative person, do not hesitate to pause when you need to. Because all these motivation quotes saved in your gallery are somebody else’s process and you have to live yours.
The best that could happen to you is still a surprise, and the worst that could happen is definitely not the end of your world. All the beautiful paintings on ancient artists are being cherished because they chose semicolon over full stop. Just imagine if Frida Kahlo had thought that self-portraits are too much of self-obsessiveness and what if she had buried her paint brushes in the hope of working on something that people loved. But, she didn’t! She made a choice to maintain the authenticity of her work and today we cite it as an example for self-empowerment.
My dear creative person, there is no other joy than you traveling at your own pace by being yourself. And there is no other joy than finding people who love you for your originality. Deep inside we all are colors outside the lines and nobody wants to stay confined. All we need is someone who finds a muse in these imperfect canvases that we are. My dear creative person, please open that cupboard you have abandoned and make a collage of your imagination. Allow people to decode this abstract and allow yourself to fly away from the idea of perfection.
A fellow creator