There may be new creative projects that you want to begin or new ways of marketing and promoting yourself that you know would be smart to attempt but something seems to be holding you back. Over the course of the next three posts, are tips for expanding your repertoire of creative projects and/or your self-promotional efforts. Here are your first three.
Know What You Currently Do
Because our lives rush along, providing us with no chance to catch up with ourselves, we often don’t really know what we’ve been attempting or accomplishing. When was the last time you had a conversation with yourself about what sort of art you’re making or what sort of marketing efforts you’re attempting? It’s harder to know what new things to try if you don’t know what current things you’re doing. Settle in and spend real time discerning your current situation.
Detach From the Idea of “One Way”
In part because it reduces our experience of anxiety, we often decide to do things one way—paint one sort of painting, weave one sort of tapestry—and then refuse to think about or discount the desirability of other efforts that we might make. Try to let go of the idea that there is just one way to do things and find the courage to investigate other ways of making art and marketing art, even those that at first glance look completely uncongenial.
Investigate your dislikes
If you’re a painter and dislike realistic painting, why do you dislike it? If you’re a writer and tend to avoid nonfiction, why do you do that? We often make snap judgments about our likes and dislikes, and subsequently never investigate those like and dislikes again, responding instead with a knee-jerk reaction. Take a good, hard look at those things that you claim to dislike and see if they really are so unlikeable.
More tips next time!
Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of 30 books, among them "Coaching the Artist Within" and "The Van Gogh Blues," and is widely regarded as America’s foremost creativity coach. His most recent book is Brainstorm: Harnessing the Power of Productive Obsessions. He is a featured contributor to the HuffingtonPost, ArtBistro, and Art Calendar magazine. Visit Dr. Maisel at EricMaisel.com.