There's this notion out there that creative people pop onto the planet with a basic understanding of what they should create and how they should create it.
There's nothing further from the truth. Which is why it's so important to try many different things on your way to creative freedom and integrity. Because until you go through the process of trying things on, you'll never know what's uniquely yours. It also functions like a path; one thing you try might not be right, but it could lead you to another thing, or a person doing another thing, and then you work to find your way through to your own individual creativity.
I see this in every creative person out there. People who are taking their own skill set and using it to create lives that are interesting. To them. Your creativity cannot be interesting to others if it's not first interesting to you.
By the time I moved moved to this old farm in Italy, I had been doing ceramics for several years but was not yet making the pots I knew I could. I also didn't know how I wanted to decorate the guest rooms. We had so much to do; restoring four massively dilapidated old structures and clearing hundreds of trees overwhelmed us. For the first year and a half, I had nowhere to do creative work such as painting and ceramics. I had very little hope that I'd even get to the point of really being an artist again. But what I did do is every time I saw a picture of a pot or an interior I loved, I pasted it to the back of our barn door. Pretty soon it became my first mood board. I was being creative without being creative, and it gave me back my hope for the future when it seemed I would just drown in the work of surviving.
my first mood board in Italy, pasted to the door of the barn.
I didn't yet know how to make these kind of pots, but I knew deep inside when a photo of one hit a nerve. The same thing with interiors. I knew what hit me. So I decided to use the period of "creative inactivity" when we were covered with plaster from head to toe to really thing about what the path would be like as we moved down it. When I look at the photo of this mood board now, it's astounding to me how many of the pots are uncannily similar to what I make. I was directing my own creativity here, and it worked for me like a charm.
You have to start somewhere, so start anywhere. The key is to start, and to keep moving into it. Don't worry if you can't afford to invest money or time in a craft right now. You just need to start the thinking process. Take photos of your thing. Read articles about your thing. Try your thing out in some small way. Keep moving your energy in the direction of your thing. Make a mood board; join Pinterest . Learn something about what moves you. Get addicted to your own personal brand of creativity. <- click to tweet.