Creativity Part 3 – Expression

Expression is both the best and worst part about being a creative. For me, the act of creating anything gives me a physical high. I feel lighter and have more energy. I’m satisfied that I’ve used my talents to put something beautiful out into the world. Some people become doctors or philanthropists… I like to say that what I give back to the world is my creativity.

I carry a sketchbook wherever I go. I make an effort to spend time sketching rather than staring at my phone. (Ugh, so much of that going on now.)

I feel fortunate that I have two careers that allow me to use my creative talents and that the work I truly love, the work I do for myself, the way I express myself (words, music, art) are just that; MY expressions. I put my work out there and sometimes people comment. 

What can be difficult is the criticisms of others as related to your work. The first thing you need to accept is that criticism is good. Getting someone else’s perspective on anything can be helpful… IF the person giving it knows how to critique without being simply mean. If you learn that by being open to criticism, your work can improve. Hopefully the critic will be objective and not attack you personally as THAT can be difficult.

Being asked to give criticism on anything creative is difficult if the creator is lukewarm about the work. I believe that creating anything is intensely personal. Not only is the physical act of putting “pencil to paper” something that takes talent, but showing other people can be absolutely terrifying, but you need to love it. You need to fight for it. You need to make the viewer believe that what you created is truly beautiful. Your work is your point of view and if you do not have passion about your point of view, why are you looking for criticism.

Try not to fear that people will not like your work. The trick I use is that it is MY work and they may not understand. If I’m putting it out there and looking for input, I must help the viewer understand. My philosophy is that art should be accessible, easy to understand, but the creator should be willing to help those who do not understand see what they are trying to convey. Whether you paint, draw, write stories or music you invite others to view part of your soul and that can be difficult, but I highly recommend it.

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4 comments

  1. Great points, young man. I always run into a problem where during a criticism the person starts telling me how they would have done it. For example, after a movie… “If I were the director I would have done it this way…” Guess what? You are not the director. It is always important to just discuss what is there and not what you wish was there.

    • Case in point is the Star Wars prequels, which were NEVER going to be as good as the original movies. George Lucas says that is the story leading up to “A New Hope”, so it is. I respect that and enjoy them for what they are… more Star Wars! Not a bad thing.

  2. Exactly! I gave those last three movies a huge thumbs down not because I would have written in differently. I was just appalled by the horrible script. Not to mention Darth Jim was written out of the final draft,

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