It Isn’t Magic: A Post for Creatives
2.5 years ago, I had never painted watercolor. You would not have said I had a talent for it. While talent can play a unique part in creative endeavors, being “good” at something doesn’t just happen. Realistically, you may not know if you have “talent” until after you’ve put a lot of effort in. But at the end of the day, talent isn’t what matters most.
I get asked a lot about being a self-taught artist. Hands down the biggest factor in my progress has been the unglamorous act of showing up and putting in the work. Of enjoying the journey and process as much as creating something “worth sharing”. Failing over and over, and then trying again and learning from my mistakes.
Excellence doesn’t magically appear. So, I have a question for you: Are you putting the necessary time in to actually DO the thing you want to be good at? Think of it this way: no one ever got fit without working out. They had to commit to regular workouts.
I had to discover the talent. Growth has come by putting in the time. The thing is, it’s easier to make excuses than put in the work. There were times I caught myself saying “I could do this if only I finished art school” or “If only I had the money to purchase a class”.
I was looking for a magic bullet that would suddenly bring me leaping to where I wanted to be. And while I think proper training is good and helpful, it is only part of the equation. I found myself relinquishing precious bits of time thinking and wishing about what I wanted to be able to create, and not actually creating, practicing, and honing my skills.
Until the day I decided I was done. I decided to take my art seriously, and made an internal commitment to spend time on it. I evaluated the priorities in my life and decided what place art would have and why it was important for me to do. And I began, 5 minutes at a time.
Y’all, everyone has 5 minutes! Don’t measure your pace against others––just get to work. There is no magical shortcut for this journey you must go on. Discipline and consistency is the key. You need to get those hours or minutes under your belt. You have to show up even when you don’t feel creative. You have to push through those brick walls. You have to get up when you fall down.
Focus on enjoying the process for what it is with all its highs and lows. Then, you’ll get somewhere.