Sponsored by Wade College
Everyone has an artistic side, a spark of creativity. Maybe you love to sketch portraits on paper scraps or retool the melodies of your favorite songs. Maybe you’d love to write novels or design your own clothes, but you don’t know where to start.
As we get stuck in daily details and responsibilities, it can be difficult to stay in touch with our creativity. But what better time to start new practices or further your education than at the start of a new year? While resolutions may seem kind of corny, goals that trigger inspiration and action are anything but.
We’ve collected some wisdom from our favorite artists for a little reinvention inspiration. From server to sculptor, day trader to dancer, make this the year you come closer to the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat Pray Love” and “Big Magic,” actually rephrased this quote from the poet Jack Gilbert?—?but we all know great artists steal. What both writers believe is that one of the most courageous things a person can do is to look inside oneself and be honest. What do you like? What are you good at? What do you want out of life? Now take those talents and pursue them wholeheartedly, regardless of the threat of failure.
Give yourself permission.
As a woman of color, acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay may not have gotten where she is today if she had waited for someone else to give her permission. Instead she followed where her passions led?—?from journalism to documentary filmmaking to directing the Academy Award winner “Selma.”
For those of us who struggle with feeling less than others in some capacity?—?be it in talent or intellect or opportunity?—?one of the most powerful moves we can make is to simply allow ourselves to create. By releasing ourselves from guilt and self-criticism, we are free to express ourselves more fully and honestly.
From the highly refined realism of his early works to the experimental sculptures of his later years, Pablo Picasso was a master of reinvention. But he did not craft such an exemplary career by waiting to feel the urge to create?—?he simply made it his job to sit down and do the work.
It can be so easy to get stuck in the trap of excuses— I don’t have time, I’m not good enough yet, I don’t have the right materials, etc., etc.?—?but some of the best art is born out of these restrictions. Don’t wait until you feel the jolt of mythical inspiration, just get started now.
Don’t worry about being cool.
One of the most revered painters of all time, Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. Had he concerned himself with fitting in with the popular artists of his day instead of developing his signature style, the world may not have experienced the beauty of Starry Night.
While fame can be alluring, chasing popularity is no way to make good art. No one has lived your life. No one can tell your story or see things from your point of view. The surest way to create something truly original is to follow your own internal compass.
Make peace with imperfection.
By the time of his death, Salvador Dalí had finished more than 1,500 paintings?—?not to mention other works in film, theater, fashion and photography. With such a high volume of output, not every piece was a masterpiece. But it was Dalí’s willingness to try anything, to experiment wildly without the fear of failure that brought us some of the most imaginative and thought-provoking works of all time. And that is a lesson every artist or creatively-minded person must understand.
Whether you aspire to become the next great fashion designer or simply want to spend more time sketching, make this the year you recommit to your passions. Enroll in one of Wade College’s interdisciplinary merchandising and design programs to make 2017 your most creative year yet.
All custom images courtesy of Dose’s Antonio Manaligod