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Creative Confidence

I have taught and shared a lot of creativity with many people in different countries. All ages, all skill levels and all interests in various situations, mediums and exploring many different outcomes. 
What I have noticed is that there are four very distinct camps when it comes to humans and their artistic personality. Yes you all have one by the way. Yes you, even you who proclaims to be unable to draw a straight line! 

Manly lagoon
"Wandering Manly Lagoon" 40x30cm Photography & mixed media, Cheralyn Darcey 1992

We are all Artists, Creativity is not some magical power, its a human trait we all have. 
Cooking, gardening, storytelling, fixing cars, painting pictures, making candles, scrapbooking, writing blockbusters, and so it goes on. 

The four personalities that probably head up a myriad of sub types are: 
The Confident Creative
The Arrogant Artist
The Suffering Scribe
The Disappearing Dismissive

Not all Art is or even needs to be Genius or a raging success, in fact 99.9999999999% of Art and Creativity isn't. Most of it is considered average by most people.
We live in a competitive world and Art and Creativity are judged far more really than there is a need for it to be. I am as inspired by the passion and the clever observation of the most unskilled creative as I am by a grand master. 

THAT is what being an Artist is about.
Art isn't the skill you have mastered to execute form, it is the life you live.
Your ability to connect with others. 
It is the passion, the generosity of spirit and the love of life and fellow humans, the way you observe and interact which makes you an artist. 

You can not create in 4 enclosed walls without interaction. 
Art is the human response to the creation of another human. 
Great Art? It all starts with CREATIVE CONFIDENCE. 

So the four main Artists! 

The Disappearing Dismissive
They may actually like art but they are very frightened that if they are FOUND OUT as not being good at it, they will of failed a test. The sub types within this are those who proclaim Art and Creativity as a total waste of time and may actually believe it and then those who secretly create things but tell no one. They disappear when someone suggests we all sit down and draw together at bonding sessions or make a sandcastle. If they cant be the best they are not interested, OR if they create they might be laughed at. Better to run away! 

I knew a man many years ago who created the most amazing model train scenes in his garage. 
The only reason I knew was that I worked from home and I would hear the trains during the day and being the nosey neighbour and gregarious person I am, I asked him. At first he told me they were nothing, mear toys from his grand-kids and he was testing them. Nothing to see, just silly trains. 
Gradually over MONTHS he shared a little more until FINALLY we ended up spending coffees over his trains as I marvelled at the tiny tiny people he hand painted under magnifying glasses and was called over to see the latest edition to his mountain tunnel systems. 
He was incredibly creative and artistic but he was frightened of being judged by those he considered experts in a field that he loved. I've said this many times, most art and creativity isn't genius art, and most proclaimed genius art is simply not so. It's in the eye of beholder and it's not even to do with personal taste. A whole lot of filtering goes into the end opinion of those who proffer these opinions and judgement on value and the merit. 

Creative Confidence is something the Disappearing Dismissive LEARNS over much time. Usually it takes ONE person they admire or THINK is somehow at the peak of the creative heap to give them very strong GENUINE encouragement and praise and along with admission of their own failures and creative fears. That cracks open the door to Creative Confidence for them. 

The Suffering Scribe
WOW, they never 'make it' BUT everyone else does. Their work is better than everyone elses but no one appreciates them, they work harder than everyone else and well, they can be martyrs. They are often very ridged and here in lies the root of their lack of Creative Confidence and also their salvation. Creatively Confident people ARE FLEXIBLE! If something isn't working, THEY ADAPT. 
They work very hard at what they do and if it isn't working they take what is, and develop. 
Being the long term Suffering Scribe that no one will give a break to while presenting the same work is not displaying CREATIVE CONFIDENCE or even determination. It's resting on the Laurals of completing something and expecting everyone to put you up on a pedestal for doing what everyone else is doing... WORK! It is a form of laziness and giving in. SURE you may of worked for ten years writing that novel, but she aint there yet! You MAY get a break, but you haven't yet so keep working! 
I don't know how many people have shown me a body of work over the years and told me they have tried to get it exhibited, published and no one is interested. They NEVER change it, listen to advice, or DEVELOP! They just keep banging away at doors for 10, 20, 50 years with the same thing. 
We all suffer for our art. Long hours, little chance of 'making it' repeated failures. Yes it certainly does take a long time to be an overnight success but you don't have to sleep all that time like Rumpelstiltskin! Keep working, keep learning. Be Confident in your ability to Creative not on your label as an Creative person. KEEP CREATING! 

The Arrogant Artist 
You don't get a chance to even find out for yourself, within 5 mins they will tell they are the number one of whatever statistic they crunch for you. First person to use a paintbrush backwards in history, biggest writer of cookbooks for insect eaters in the world, and so on. They are exhausting to be around and incredibly scary for anyone else who considers themselves Creatives in their circle as there is only room for one number one.

Strangely, they consider themselves mentors, will slightly encourage but only when it suits and will quickly release, condemn and cut off those who come near there self supposed greatness.  They much prefer an adoring audience than peers and students. To a lot of others, they appear incredibly confident. It is bluff and smoke and mirrors hiding a lot of self doubt and more often than not I've found that there is something they don't want others to know and sometimes dishonesty surround their work. They will also be incredibly dismissive of work they can't do!
Creative Confidence is never rude. It isn't bitchy, it isn't selfish. 

The Confident Creative! 
Some people have CREATIVE CONFIDENCE naturally, others need to work on it. The big issue is that, like any confidence, you have to really believe it, live it, BE IT! 

It isn't thinking your art is best,
it's thinking it's best to create art! 

It isn't thinking you need to be first,
it's knowing that art is an evolving circle not a race to finish line.

It isn't thinking you need approval,
it's  embracing the process and any outcome as part of a bigger picture. 

It isn't thinking you deserve to be rewarded for you efforts, 
it's creating anyway no matter the outcome or reward.

It isn't putting yourself on a pedestal, 
it's being generous with your art, passion and knowledge. 

It isn't mean, angry or aggressive, 
it's knowing that greatest strengths in creativity comes from generosity, joy, and love

A Creatively Confident person constantly learns new skills, shares, creates without worrying about beating out others to be first best or greatest. They are focused and have goals, they are prepared to adapt, listen and learn. They approach new ideas and use the assets they have and learn new ones as needed. They do not rest of self imposed laurels. They see failures as learning posts and they are 100% transparent and honest with everyone. They never play the blame game or ANY GAME!

Most of all, they willingly take on creative projects

They  with confidence in their ability to 'give it a go' without fear of failure, judgement or putting themselves in an invisible race of their own making with their peers. 

They would create anyway no matter what! 

YOU can start being Creatively Confident by believing in yourself. 
Block out the judgements of others and yourself.
Seek to IMPROVE and LEARN, no matter where it is you are starting from.  
You aim is the process, the work, not the grading of the outcome! 
The outcome is to do, to complete and to learn. 

Cheralyn xx