Two Beings Inside Of Us All
Inside of you, there are two creatures. One values order, reason, deadlines, and structure. This is logic. The other values passion, spontaneity, creativity, and disruption. This is chaos. Both have a place in our lives, and both need to be heard and valued.
Too often, though, we pay heed to the logical side and neglect the creative side. We have responsibilities, fast-paced jobs, projects that need doing, and a never-ending list of chores. We cling to the desire for order and structure because it is safe and predictable. However, when we try to contain the chaos inside for too long, it starts to take a toll and eat away at our well-being.
I want to explore what causes people to ignore this side of themselves and throw out some solutions to give more space for creativity to play.
Fear Guides Us
One of the reasons people avoid the creative chaos inside is because it is inherently unpredictable. Who knows what you’ll make if you let yourself run free? It could be terrible or messy. It could reveal an inner truth or awaken something deep inside. The possibilities are terrifying if you’ve only allowed yourself to be a logical being.
Fear of the unknown causes people to cage their creativity and bottle it up. Life is already chaotic, so why invite even more onto your doorstep? Well, as Disney’s Turning Red shows us, we can’t always tamp down that unruly beast and keep it at bay. Whether we like it or not, chaos will burst through containment in unexpected ways if we try to keep a stranglehold on it. For some, that develops as anxiety or depression. For others, it might present as bitterness, resentment, or an obsession with control.
No matter what, it’s not healthy to pretend like this creature doesn’t dwell inside. The best course of action is to learn how to coexist with it.
Art Gives Chaos Shape
One of the most effective ways to embrace your inner chaos is to express it through art. Creative expression is chaos given shape, form, and color. Making art doesn’t always take shape in a chaotic paint-splattered form — sometimes art can be ordered, structured, and logical — but the act of making something from nothing always makes the beast purr contentedly.
Humans have made art as long as we’ve lived in caves because art is a part of us. Creation is honoring the creature inside, and it offers a sense of balance and release, especially in our fast-paced world.
Essentially, creation is giving life to a vital part of ourselves that needs to run free. We can’t contain the chaos and hope to be comfortable. Instead, we must honor it alongside the logic if we want to feel a sense of balance and unity.
6 Tips to Unleash Your Creativity
So how do you let your chaos run free when you’ve only ever shut it down? Here are a few methods to help you tap into that side of you and start giving yourself the gift of creavity.
Write Morning Pages
If you’ve never allowed yourself to be an artist because you felt it was silly or irresponsible, then it might be tough to jump right into making art. Try keeping a Morning Pages journal to let yourself write freely and release some of the chaos inside your head in a safe contained environment.
This journaling exercise will help you dig to the root of your problems and develop a plan for overcoming them in an honest, cathartic way.
Refill the Well
You can’t expect to dive into making art if you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and wound tight. When you’re running on empty, you need to refill your tank with activities that revive you. Julia Cameron covers this practice in her book The Artist’s Way, calling these activities artist’s dates.
The idea is that you take your inner artist out on a date doing something restorative. These solo activities can be mini-vacations where you indulge in yourself a bit. For example, you can spend all day at the library enjoying the quiet time, or you might go work at a coffee shop. Maybe you go to a nearby park and take in the sunshine, or you go to a museum by yourself to admire the displays.
Whatever an artist date looks like for you, remember that you need to put your needs first from time to time and give yourself a break.
Play With Intuitive Art
One killer of a creative mood is high expectations. If you desperately want your art session to turn out good, you’ll likely feel stifled and overwhelmed right from the beginning. Instead, try building a practice of making intuitive art. This is an excellent way to help you start having fun with art again — just like you did when you were a kid. Build a positive association with creating art, and you’ll find yourself drawn to it more and more.
Try a New Medium or Genre
Some people, like myself, might already have an artistic practice but feel stifled in it. I started my business with watercolors and lettering, so I often feel restricted to these subjects, like I’ll suddenly fail if I try a different medium.
If you feel stuck in one medium or genre of creativity, shake things up by trying something new. Only ever done 2D art? Try making something 3D. If you’ve only created character design, then try landscape concept art. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and see what ideas and inspiration spring forward when you break up your routines.
Learn Something New
One easy way to kickstart your creativity is by pulling up a tutorial or class to learn a new technique. When you’re following along with someone else’s instructions, you don’t have to think so hard about what to create — you only need to focus on the steps laid out before you.
The internet is full of creative tutorials and instructions, but it can be a bit overwhelming to find something new to learn in a sea of content. If you’re looking for plenty of high-quality creative classes in one easy place, then you’ll love Foxsy!
Foxsy is an online art education platform that is packed full of beautiful classes taught by talented artists. Each class is broken down into bite-sized pieces so you can learn at your own pace, and many classes also have step-by-step projects that you can create alongside the instructor. There are already tons of classes on watercoloring, drawing, creative journaling, and lettering — and more are being added every month! You can explore everything Foxsy has to offer and see if it’s the creative kick in the pants you need.
Nowadays, we always have our phones within reach. For most folks, that means no more boredom. Why be bored when you can pull out Instagram or TikTok to watch silly short videos?
There are times when this is a blessing, but sometimes it’s a curse, too. Being bored is valuable for the creative process because it gives your brain time to chew on ideas and problems in the background. If you’re constantly stuffing new information in, then your mind won’t have time to mull over some of your best ideas. Creation is the opposite of consumption, so you can’t constantly consume media and expect your brain to pull up new ideas.
Try turning off your phone for periods of time to give yourself time to feel bored. You can also try breaks from social media for more extended time periods to see how it affects your creativity. I bet you’ll be surprised by how many ideas your mind brings forth!
Let It Grow Wild
Creativity is like a potted plant. Sometimes, people neglect the plant and let it wither away. Other times, people don’t want to deal with the responsibility, so they attempt to snip away any new shoots, keeping the plant as small as possible. And sometimes, as is often my problem, people try to let it grow, but only in a certain pre-approved shape and size. They trim off any unruly branches and keep it nice and tidy.
But at the end of the day, if you tend to your creativity and take good care of it, it will grow and flower into something breathtakingly beautiful. When you learn to accept this part of yourself and stop trying to control it, your chaos will perfectly complement your structures and routines and be a shining spot of beauty in your life. So take a deep breath, relax, and unleash the creativity within.
Want to Take Your Creativity to the Next Level?
Check out my biggest project yet: Foxsy! You can get access to the entire course library with an ever-growing list of creative classes, including watercolor journaling, banner drawing, bounce lettering, watercolor lettering, and more.
With over a dozen full-courses with more added every month; you'll have plenty of inspiration to go around.
Each course comes with in-depth lessons and step-by-step projects to help grow your skills one video at a time and make incredible journal pages. You'll also get access to personalized professional feedback on your projects to help you boost your confidence and make progress toward your creative goals.
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