Do you want to be brave in your creativity this year? Be honest.
Every year, when January rolls around it’s virtually impossible to avoid talk of New Year’s resolutions… despite us all knowing that two weeks in, we’ll have scrapped all those good intentions. Now that we’ve entered quarter two of 2018 and those resolutions are shot, let’s rethink ways to be brave this year.
A couple of years ago, I started looking at my goals for the year in a slightly different way. Rather than laying out all these big, impressive plans on January 1st, I decided to commit to doing 3 brave things over the course of the year. You can also read about them in my 2017 post and 2016 post.
I didn’t force myself to pick out my brave things ahead of time. I didn’t put any rules on what they would look like, or which area of my life they would impact… the parameters were simply three brave things.
I want to just jump in here and say that bravery is not about throwing yourself out of an airplane or swimming with sharks. It can be, of course, but bravery is more than just an adrenaline rush. It’s about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying new things – things you may not be instantly good at, or things that you might have been worried about experimenting with.
This type of “out of the box” bravery is near on essential if you’re an artist (whether you’re a pro or you just make art for fun). If we always create the things we’ve always created, using the supplies we’ve always used and the techniques we know intimately… there’s no space for serendipity. There’s no space for happy accidents, or new discoveries, or untapped inspiration… and that’s where the joy of being creative lies.
If there's one thing you take away from this article, I want it to be this: Try doing 3 Brave Things this year! #3bravethingsClick To Tweet
Let’s have a closer look at what that could look like in your creative life.
Be brave with your supplies
We all have a series of “go to” art supplies. For me it’s acrylic paints – I adore them. For you it might be watercolors or oil pastels. You might even notice that you’re drawn to a specific brand or a specific color palette.
What brave choices could you make with your supplies?
Could you try combining your favorite media with something you’re not so comfortable with?
Could you challenge yourself to use more of the shade you always avoid?
Could you research a new-to-you technique for your favorite art supply?
Are your supplies in dire need of organization? (I’ve got some great tips here)
Be brave with your subject matter
If you follow a lot of artists online, you’ll notice that most people have a subject that they’re really comfortable with. Some love to create gorgeous girly faces. Some paint fun colorful animals. Some design whimsical florals. Some sketch out funky landscapes.
Usually, this “comfort zone” will evolve over time, but you’ll only find the thing that’s truly “yours” if you’re willing to experiment with different things first. You might have spent the past few years drawing fruit, because that’s what you learnt in one particular workshop, but what if your real passion lies in drawing mythical creatures and you just don’t know it yet?
Push yourself to make art that’s different to what you “always” do.
Be brave with your space
I think sometimes “artist” is synonymous with “pack rat”. We spend years and years discovering exciting new creative hobbies (and buying all the supplies to go with) but what happens when you lose interest in that hobby? You keep all the stuff in a drawer somewhere, right?
Challenge yourself to go through your crafty stash and either find a new and interesting use for it, or find it a new home. There’s a huge amount of bravery in letting things go, especially if they’re objects you’ve become attached to… but freeing up physical space is a great way to invite more inspiration into your world. Give it a go.
Read more in my 6-part series of Storing & Organizing Art Supplies here.
Be brave with your sign-ups
Skim through your favorite art blogs for a few minutes, and I don’t doubt you’ll come across fun creative challenges and community projects that you could take part in.
Signing up for something like this can be such a brave move, particularly if the theme is a little out of your comfort zone. It can also feel like a stretch to share your creative projects with the world too, so that could definitely be one of your #3bravethings.
If you need a jumping-off point, here’s a Free Mini Course.
I hope that in reading this, you’re feeling inspired to push the limits of your creativity.
If you’d like to share the brave things you’ll be trying in 2018, post them on Instagram with the hashtag #3bravethings
– I can’t wait to see what you choose!