Be Brave: Creative Courage for the Artist

How to Be Brave as an Artist - it takes courage to follow your creative dreams and to share your work with others. I'm sharing some tips that I've learned (and am learning) in growing in courage as an artist. @littlegirldesigns.com

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Learn how to build your own creative courage today. It really does matter!

Bravery. Courage. Strength.

These words don’t exactly bring up visions of artists wielding paintbrushes or hunched over sketchbooks, do they? But the need for creative courage is real if you’re an artist. You know deep down inside that it takes a real courage to do what you do every day. (and P.S. you don’t have to be working full-time in an artistic field to be considered a “creative person”.)

For those of you who are in the trenches of creating something (it isn’t always glamorous), and for those of you who are wavering on the edge of a creative cliff and are nervous to make the leap (what if you fall, what if your idea doesn’t fly, what if???), this post is for you, to encourage you, and to give you a virtual hug to let you know that you’re on the right path.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned (and am learning) about how to grow in bravery as an artist.

 


Treat your creative life with respect.

Donate time to it, even it if it a little here and a little there. Allow yourself to learn. Allow yourself to fail. Every single person on this earth is creative in one way or another. Look for ways to cultivate your own creative life, whatever that may be. Read more. Keep your eyes (and ears) open for inspiration. Record quotes, questions, and ideas in a notebook and go back to them at times to add to them. Curiosity is a true friend to creative souls.

 


Take the step right in front of you.

I know no one ever wants to hear this but you need to do the thing in front of you first. Many of us creatives lapse into dream-land at times and wish we could arrive and be there already. Taking the next step seems boring. It is so mundane. We want to reach our dreams and start to see our creative lives take off. But the truth is, the step right in front of you is all you can control right now. Own it and do an incredible job at it, and you’ll start to see movement in your life.

 

Discovering your voice is rarely a linear path, but instead is the culmination of a lifelong process of observation, course correction, and risk-taking that eventually leads to the recognition of a valuable contribution.

 


Stop the procrastination.

If you want your creative courage muscles to grow, you cannot allow yourself to be lazy. Oh sure, we all have lapses here and there. What I’m talking about is consistently brushing off creative opportunities in your life and/or not taking the time to practice and hone what you’ve already learned. I’m talking to my own self here.

 


And while you’re at it, stop the comparison.

Oh, there is such a fine line between admiring someone else’s work and lapsing into comparison (and pity parties.) Be aware of that tendency and teach yourself how to celebrate other people’s successes. The comparison monster hates it when you take the time to write a card to your hero. It hates it when you sincerely congratulate a friend for getting the creative opportunity you were hoping for in your own life. I keep on saying this, but comparison really does kill creativity.

 


Try something new.

Another way to challenge (and grow) your bravery as an artist is to try something new. We all get into creative ruts that are comfortable. They allow us to do what we do best with little risk. This is fine but as an artist, you’re doing yourself a disservice to allow yourself to atrophy. Trying new artistic endeavors teaches you to think in different ways and actually can strengthen your practice. You also might be keeping yourself from a creative collaboration or discovery that will move you forward. One of my favorite places to visit for brush-lettering inspiration is Random Olive, and I recently started going through her brush-lettering guide. It’s incredibly affordable for the amount of practice sheets you receive, and it’s been fun to start something I’ve wanted to try for so long.

 


Have fun.

It’s scary putting yourself out there whether you’re sharing a piece of artwork or sharing an idea. And having to put on your brave face can sometimes be exhausting. So for this last piece of encouragement, let me just say to remember to have fun. Don’t be so serious about your art that you can’t shake your head and laugh about it sometimes.

I’m personally in the middle of a “being brave as an artist” month as I’m part of a challenge called #infobomo. My goal is to finish writing and designing my first workbook this month. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while but it has been put off over and over again. This challenge is pushing me to actually make time and sit down and do the thing which is both exciting, energizing, and scary.

Do you have any tips about being brave as an artist? Share them in the comments.

As always, have a lovely {and creative} day!

P.S. That workbook that I was working on? I finished it and then self-published it. You might want to check it out here or by clicking the image below. :)

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22 thoughts on “Be Brave: Creative Courage for the Artist

  1. Don’t have expectations when you start a project. Anything can be fixed or changed as you go along. Just do it! The more do it the better you get over time. Take your own creative journey. (as mentioned don’t compare) Be fearless and take chances. Lovely post thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Pinned & shared.

    1. I LOVE your thoughts, Theresa, especially how you said, “anything can be fixed or changed as you go along.” Isn’t that so true? So many times we get caught up in self-editing when the “first draft” of any project needs to be us just letting those creative juices flow. Thanks so much for your comment! Have a great weekend! :)

  2. Great post!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this with Awesome Things Tuesday last week! Come party with us again, we’d love to have you!

    1. You’re welcome! I just stopped by your party–hope you have a great week! :)

  4. Great post! Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you taking the time to party with us. I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm.. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  5. Hi, I am clicking over from DIY link up. My word for 2015 is CREATE. I am also writing about this subject of my blog too! Everything you wrote is so true and inspriational. So often people think they have to be an “artist” to create, so they don’t even try. We are all creative. We just need the courage to try.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Jeri. I just stopped by your site and love your post about how creativity takes courage. Seems we’re on the same page! It DOES take courage to be creative and to share with the world (even if it just your family!)

      On a side note, when I was a kid, we made summer scrapbooks too. They are now like mini time capsules of my life in that moment. I need to do that again this year. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a lovely day!

    1. Wow, thank you for your kind comment. I really appreciate it. :) Hope you have a great week!

  6. These are great tips, especially don’t compare, and only take the step right in front of you. I know I am so guilty of not doing both of those things (especially comparing my work to others). Thank you SO much for sharing with us at Merry Monday!

    1. Thanks, Amanda! I’m guilty of these too, that’s why I could think of them for my list. :) I’m so glad you could relate! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  7. Over the years I have found different things that trigger my inspiration and that kips me staying brave. Let go of thoughts like: “my style is …” “I always been …. “ “ I only like…..” If you want to get over the block you got to climb over it or dig under it or go round or whatever it takes to get to the other side.
    One of my tip is to go and meet positiv thinking people. for they will back you up.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I can completely relate to saying things like, “I have always been…” etc. and then realizing later that that isn’t necessarily true. And yes! It is so important to surround yourself with people who are positive. There’s just something infectious about being around someone who has true joy!

  8. I love your tips. I need to remember them. So often I worry when I’m thinking of creating an original piece (not based off an idea I found on Pinterest or another blog) I seem to freeze because I worry about making it look “right” and wondering if anyone will actually be interested in it. I need to focus on just creating my projects for myself and not comparing my art to others.

    1. I so hear you, Aliza! It is easy to talk myself out of doing some projects because I’m not sure they will turn out the way I want them too. But as I’m sure you’ve discovered, many times when I try anyway, I end up discovering something I really love to do! Thanks so much for your comment. :)

  9. I love that you said try something new, because that definitely does help. Whenever I get new supplies or tools, I’ve suddenly got all these ideas! Same thing when I rediscover something I haven’t seen in years.

    1. Oh my goodness, isn’t that true? New supplies (or rediscovered ones that I forgot about!) always inspire me! :) Have a great day! :)

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