Creativity to make you happy

Jul 4th 2016

Thoughts on Creativity

Today I want to use this blog as more of a diary, to document how I feel at this stage. At uni we would use blogs and journals to document our processes and ideas and I thought it could be a good idea to start using my blog as a platform for that again. I find that writing my ideas down can be really therapeutic, so hopefully this actually resonates with some of you too and isn’t just a ramble.

I’m in that weird stage right now where I’m really close to releasing a bunch of new products into the world and I’m feeling pretty self conscious and exposed. I’ve got to this stage a few times before in the past - had an idea for a print or product which I thought was great, spent time producing it and agonising over if it’s good enough, then totally lost confidence in the whole thing and backed out of ever showing anyone, let alone putting it up for sale. This time I wanted to prevent myself from doing the same thing, so I bought an expensive printer and a whole load of packaging and stamps so that I couldn’t back out, but it doesn’t stop me feeling super nervous about the whole thing.

I find that the longer I’ve been working on something, the more I dislike it, the self-doubt creeps its way in gradually over time and the thing I once thought was a fantastic idea I now worry no one else will be interested in. I think it’s always difficult to look at your own work from an outsider’s point of view and since I spend most of my days looking at illustration (I work part time as an illustrator’s agent), it’s inevitable that I start comparing my work to others and more often than not putting myself and my own work down. I’m really trying to make a conscious effort to take my own advice and try not to compare myself to anyone and be positive and keep working at it. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve spoken to a few of my creative chums about this feeling recently and it seems that we’re all in the same boat or have been at some point. It’s hard to talk yourself up, but if we don’t have confidence in our own work how can we expect people to buy it? I’m hoping that as time goes on and (hopefully) things start selling, that’s when the confidence boost comes! I’m definitely still in the honeymoon phase with some pieces of my work, and I’m hoping that if I just go ahead and put them up for sale soon then my confidence in them will only grow, rather than my usual routine of creating something, leaving it for ages, losing confidence in it and hiding it away. To start off with, I think I’m going to put up a selection of my work for sale - some new things I’m still really pleased with, and some older pieces I’m feeling conscious of. I need to remind myself that not everyone has the same taste, and it’ll be interesting to see what’s popular and what’s not. I’ve never been very good at just focusing on one thing anyway…

For now, I’ll leave you with this quote from the incredible Ira Glass. I first heard this mentioned by Kat on a Blogtacular podcast and it’s really stuck with me ever since and puts what I'm trying to say into words much less rambly than mine above...

Ira Glass Quote

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this matter, I know that so many people struggle with this feeling too. Right now, I’m actually feeling really excited (but still very nervous) to get some products out there and see what happens. Find me on instagram & twitter or send me an email at hello(at)zabbyallen(dot)com if you fancy a chat!

Tagged: Small Business Posts