It’s the middle of October and Inktober is upon us. And just like most things I had all these grand intentions of drawing and posting everyday because pen and ink is one of my favorite mediums. Inktober is a month long study using ink as your creative medium. Some use pens, some brushes, some colored inks and some in grayscale or even just good ole black ink. The only main rule is that you have to use ink. There are daily prompts that you can draw from for inspiration. Check the hashtag #Inktober2017 for drawings and illustrations on Instagram.
But y’all, October has been crazy busy! Busy good. Full of shows and commissions and other projects making a drawing a day just not possible. So I decided to do one project and base it around the idea of creativity.
I believe creativity is for everyone. Many times when I am sketching in public or working my booth at an art show, I hear people put down their creative abilities. They say “Oh I could never do that,” or “I’m just not good at being creative.” Or the one that I hate the most is “Well, you just make me never want to even try.” I know they think it’s a compliment but it’s quite possibly the worst thing you could say to me. The last thing I want people to walk away from my art feeling is that they never even want to try.
I’m 42 and I’ve been drawing since age two. After forty years I better be good at it. That’s the key to creativity. You have to work at it. You have to study and develop skills. Yes, I was probably born with a certain skill set that pushed me in a more creative direction. But my drawing abilities would never be where they are now if I hadn’t taken the time to learn about shape and form and value.
So many people seem unhappy and lost these days. I have to wonder if it’s because they have removed the act of creating from their lives. It’s almost as if the act of creativity was reserved just for the young or for the old. Kids get to be creative (although with the cut backs in art education that is in danger) because kids get to play and have fun. And people who have retired and aren’t working a nine to five get to take classes or spend time in these areas that foster creativity. But it’s those of us in the middle that flounder. We aren’t continually growing creative habits throughout our life spans and it’s leaving a hole.
I am big fan for making and doing things yourself. Way back before everything was mass produced and done for us, people had to be creative if they wanted things.
“We need a table to eat at!” Ok go chop down the tree, plane some boards and let’s make one.
“I need a blanket because it’s getting cold!” Ok let’s sew these scraps of fabric together. And you know what! We can arrange them in a pretty design because we like to look at pretty things.
You may say that all of these activities were done just out of necessity but there was still an act of creating. It grew out of a need for tangible things. Once you start to grow that ability inside you, inspiration follows. You’ll start getting ideas but perfection does not happen overnight. You have to work at it and pour time into it if it’s something you want to have in your life. And believe me you need it. It doesn’t just have to be painting or drawing. It can be music or cooking or sewing or knitting and crochet, weaving, woodworking, gardening, or dance!
Creating in any form is a holy process. Every human is creative. Every religion has a creation belief of some sort. We were all fashioned by the Great Creator. How can we believe that same ability doesn’t reside with us? Some people just haven’t found their process yet.
So I encourage you to get out there and be creative! If you are still nervous about starting a project why not just start with the simple act of coloring. And if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll get a free coloring page ready to inspire your creative endeavors.
I hope you find your creative process or at least start testing out which one feels best to you. And remember it’s a process so you have to give it longer than just one go. Let me know in the comments below how you’re going to exercise your creative spirit.