What if I told you there are three universal actions that can help you improve in ANY creative endeavor?
Would you be interested in that? I hope so, cause that’s what you’re going to learn here.
Becoming a master of your craftI’m sure plenty of you guys have hobbies: writing, drawing, music, poetry, etc.
Each of you practices, hoping for your skills to improve over time. And usually they do.
But it’s not as much as you’d like.
You look to the left and there are people who are more technically skilled than you are. Compared to them, it’s like your skills are childlike and they’ve been at it for years.
You look to the right and see people who’s work is bursting with personality. You just know it’s their work when you see it, and it oozes with originality.
Then there’s you.
You can make “stuff” when you create, but that’s it. Your execution is okay, but it doesn’t really stand out otherwise.
When you mess around though, you can make some cool stuff. But otherwise you aren’t satisfied.
…Not yet at least.
There’s a way to improve your creative skills on all fronts. How? By using a balanced approach, one that’ll improve any creative goal you might have.
The 3 steps to creative masteryThere are three main actions that you need to improve in a balanced and useful way. Each one will make sure your creative skills are strong, personal, and able to transform your work into something that’s actually good. So make sure you do all of them in roughly equal amounts.
1) Practice your craftThis ones probably obvious, you’ve got to practice.
You’ve got to to be able to do what you want, when you want. Being technically minded in ANY activity opens the door to all sorts of creative options.
By having strong execution skills, you can do more than you could before. And in any craft, this is super necessary.
You need to be able push your technical limitations, because as you get better you expand your creative horizons. But if you can’t match your imagination with your capabilities, your creations will always pale in comparison to what you could’ve created.
So if you’re a writer, write and proofread your work everyday. If you’re a sketch artist, create progressively harder pieces.
It’s all about pushing the difficulty of your work in order to improve your execution, so when it comes time to actually create something you’re not limited by what your hands can do.
2) Noodle aroundThis is where you the creative part of the process shines.
Just messing around - linking ideas that might not have any relationship together - allows your subconscious to take over and create new and unique things.
For writers, this could be journaling. Just let the stream of consciousness flow, write down what you’re feeling, observing, or anything else that comes to mind.
Sketch artists could freehand a drawing. Don’t think about what you’re drawing, just start connecting things without even thinking about it.
This process creates an “idea pool” for you to draw from when you’re actually going to create something.
So when you’re just noodling around, make sure you can refer back to it later. Not really a problem for writers or sketch artists, but musicians should make sure they record what they do.
Don’t neglect just messing around with your craft, it’s the easiest part of creating and for plenty of people the most fun as well.
3) Actually create something in your craftUltimately if you want to really be considered a practitioner of your craft, you have to make something in it.
Musicians make musical pieces, writers write stories, painters paint pictures, and so on.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a “good” piece, what matters is following your craft like you should. Over time (and by following these tips) you’ll start creating stronger pieces, but you need to start early to get there.
So how do you get started? Think about what happened when you were noodling around.
Were there any enlightening parts? Beautiful parts? Was there an entrancing riff you created? Think about what you loved or were intrigued with when you were noodling around, THAT is what you use.
You just need to mix and match the pieces, and over time you’ll start creating awesome creative pieces.
Over to youAll of us are artists in some way, so I have a few questions for you: what is your creative outlet, and what is your creative process like?
Please leave a comment below because I’d love to know more about your creative knowledge :)
|Written on 1/4/2014 by Ericson Ay Mires. Ericson Ay Mires is a featured writer here at Dumb Little man. He's also a freelance writer, and he's ready for hire! Check out his ultimate guide on beating procrastination, I think you might like it.|
Photo Credit: Life Mental Health