Mary Ann Evans (aka George Eliot) said, It’s never too late to be what you might have been. I love this quote because it reminds us that it is never too late to start something new and that includes our creative dreams. Creative dreams are typically put on the back burner because we are busy with work, children, family, friends and social engagements. I have clients of all ages but when it comes to pursuing creative dreams my clients tend to be middle aged. Cathy reached out to me just days after her 50th birthday. She had wanted to paint since she was a teenager but could never find the time. Her closet was packed with art supplies that she had received as gifts. She finally decided to do something about it and now Cathy has found her creative joy and paints daily. What about you? Do you have a creative dream? Here are five steps that can help you get started.
#1. Explore the Possibilities! Just like Cathy, maybe you want to paint. As a creative coach I can tell you that is a broad subject! The first step is to explore painting. Water color? Oil? Acrylic? Mixed Media? Portraits? Landscapes? Nature? Don’t let all the different types of painting overwhelm you. The goal of exploring is to find out what you want. Google painting, visit your local library and look at art books, visit an art gallery, go to an artist studio or visit a museum. I suggest to clients that they make a file (electronic, paper or both) of works of art that they enjoy. Whatever your creative dream may be explore until you have a grasp on what it is you really want to create.
#2. Own Your Creative Dream. Tell everyone you know that you are a writer (artist, dancer, filmmaker, photographer, actor, musician). I know that this can be very scary. It’s kind of funny how we can be scared to tell others about our creative efforts. It’s because our creative spirit can be vulnerability to judgment. By owning our creative dream, we begin our journey. It might feel uncomfortable and some people (like your children) may roll their eyes. The truth is that most of your family and friends will be supportive and will want to know more.
#3. Don’t Worry, Just Create. Notice we didn’t just jump right into painting (writing, dancing, filmmaking, etc.…) because most people will jump into their creative dream and then jump right back out. Why? Because of fear, perfectionism and not feeling good enough. It is easy to image what a painter does all day but when you start putting oil to canvas it can be different than what you imagined. You might be afraid of what other people will think or you want your painting to be perfect. If you took the time to explore then you know that even the art masters are not perfect. You can see the imperfections in their work. My favorite is Lucifer by Jackson Pollock because there is burnt cigarette paper right in the middle of the painting! And because you told everyone you were a painter then you are more likely to follow through with your creative plans. When you first start doing your creative dream be patient and gentle with yourself. Play with the paint and canvas. Don’t worry about mistakes, just create.
#4. Find Your Tribe. Believe it or not it won’t take you long to understand how paint moves on the canvas or words are created on the page. Now, it is time to find your tribe. There are several places you can find others just like you! If your town has a local junior college or university check to see what creative arts programs they offer to the community. Check out Meetup and see if there are any groups in your area. Community and senior centers are another place that offer creative programs. You can also find creative arts group online! Having a group can help you go deeper into your creative dream. In addition to a group you may consider working with a creativity coach. I know a really good one! It’s me!
#5. Create Every Day. If you have found your creative passion, then it should not be hard for you to work on it every day. I encourage clients to schedule when they will create. Find the time that is right for you and make a commitment to work on your art each and every day.
Learn more about my Creativity Coaching program!