Creative Blocks: Comparing Yourself to Others - Finding Inspiration in Yourself

Do you sometimes find yourself wishing you could draw, paint or create like someone you admire - so much so, that you feel that your work will never be as good? Or worse yet, you concluded that you have no talent, so why bother?

Finding inspiration in the work of fellow creatives can further develop your creativity and personal style, but it can also stifle or create blocks if you place another's skills and talents above your own.

While it may be true that someone else may have highly developed skills and talent with years and years of experience, placing yourself in comparison with them puts you at an unfair disadvantage.  And the inner critic will seize on this opportunity to start planting those pesky seeds of doubt.

The thing is, if you had that person's life experience and talents and followed their same path, you might even be better - or - you might still have the same doubts.

I believe that everyone is or has the ability to become more creative.  It is part of your being that has been with you from the beginning.  Sometimes though, creativity may not have been valued and was discouraged at an early age, or wasn't recognized and given the opportunity to flourish or there may not have been any exposure to the creative arts.  But I tell you, there is creativity in every soul - it just needs to be cultivated and allowed to follow its own path whether it be in a studio, kitchen, lab or wherever!

Seeing your creativity develop and blossom as a long, exciting journey taking you to unexpected places and meeting interesting people is the key to disconnecting from those unfair comparisons.

Remember this:  Everyone is at a different point on their journey with different skills and talents.  They also have unique backgrounds and stories to tell with destinations that are unknown to you.  Their art tells their story.  It is their perspective, and it is authentic to who they are.  It is the expression of their soul.

Finding how to express your voice - what is distinctly you, is what will truly bring joy into your life.  That is what the creative journey is all about - finding how to express what is within you and following the voice that will take you further on the journey.

If you try to work in the style of someone you admire, do it for the experience of exploration and experimentation, but add your own twist to it.  If you try to make it your style, you'll never be truly satisfied.  It will always look like that person who is dressed up in a style that is totally out of character for them. 

If, what you create, is a reflection of who you are, you will better appreciate and become inspired by the work of others rather than compare your work to theirs.

Find ways to inspire yourself.  Be willing to experiment with different materials and techniques.  Find the tools and materials that feel the most comfortable and expressive to you.  Sometimes, switching to a different medium or tool is the key to unleashing your creativity.

Approach your experimentation and journey with a sense of adventure and fun.  Find the joy in the process, not the end product.  The more you are willing to explore, the further along you will be in your journey.  And the more you do, the more you will see your personal style evolve.  It's like learning a new language.  With practice, you will become fluent.

Flattened - Journal entry done when energy was very low

The Daily Doodle Journal is an easy way to document your progress.  The Daily Doodle Journal is different in its approach to visual journaling in that the focus is on a mind-body connection to bring out what is within.  Simple doodles and quick drawings like the one on the right, emerge from what one if feeling at the moment.  Intuition guides your hand.  Creative impulses are given total freedom.  The emphasis is not on a completed work of art, but the emerging personal symbols and style.  It is an outlet for releasing negative energy and seeing what it looks like on paper. 

In short, it is a visual documentary on the evolution of your creative spirit!

Use the Daily Doodle Journal as a separate journal if you already have or prefer an art journal.  It will give you the space to do "creative warm ups" and clear out any negative energy that might be holding you back.

Keep the Daily Doodle Journal for doodles or scribbles when trying to come up with a new idea or trying to get through some creative block or problem. 

Words can be added, but I think you will find that the images will reveal far more and will speak to you at a much deeper level.  Referencing back to them at another time can reveal even more.

Another way to help develop your style and discover your personal symbols, is the exercise I described in Drawing to Music.  If you play music you absolutely love, that actually makes you want to move to the music, you will find that your style will be much easier to access.  Interestingly, you may also find that your creative style probably has some type of visual connection to the type of music you enjoy.

Click here - Daily Doodle Journal - for more info on how to set up yours.

How do you inspire yourself and develop your creativity?  Please feel free to leave a comment about what works for you.  I'd also love to know if you started a Doodle Journal.

Happy Doodling!