On Inspiration & Discipline

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An professor of mine in college once told me that my greatest asset as an artist was my discipline; that I could do anything I wanted because I was disciplined. 

At the time, I was dissatisfied with what she saw as my strength. I wanted to be told I was "creative", "passionate", or "imaginative" -- the words that people associate with artists. I saw the raw talent I thought I lacked in my classmates and questioned whether a creative career was for me at all.

I seriously entertained the idea of law school or grad programs in History. Hell, I even went through corporate recruiting (this blog could have been about my life as an i-banker!). But something kept me from calling quits on this whole "art thing."

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Years later, my professor's remark remains with me.

Working full-time as an in-house designer, I sometimes can't help but feel stuck, uninspired -- stifled under the pressure I put on myself to put out great work day after day. There are times when I want to crawl under the covers, tell the world my creative juices have dried up, and call it a day. 

But instead I make myself show up, try to do the work, and trust that the process of doing the work will lead to a breakthrough. The breakthrough might take time, and be so small that nobody else notices, but I notice, and I understand what my professor was trying to tell me all those years ago.

My discipline has yet to fail me. 

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So, when friends ask me how to fight a creative funk, all I've got as far as advice goes is to start doing the work and believe that the process will take you to the next step. I wish I had some secret, a list of "10 Things to Do when You're in a Creative Rut", something better than just "do it," but that's the only thing that's worked for me 

So I want to ask all you creatives out there: What do you do when you find yourself in a rut or feeling uninspired? What works for you? Any advice you have to share?

Hello, World. Let's try this again.

Here's the thing. I suck at the Internet.

I don't have a cool internet persona or twitter friends. I personally know the majority of my instagram followers. And if you know me, you know I don't know a lot people.

You would think, given the above, that I would have nothing to fear in terms of losing internet currency. But that hasn't stopped me from being afraid.

Time and time again, I've started a blog or wanted to start a blog, and soon abandoned the effort because I was afraid that I couldn't live up to the expectations for a "designer's blog." I've shied away from blogging because of the pressure to create and maintain a coherent "personal brand". 

What's changed to encourage me to start blogging? Not much really. The fears are very much still there. I've just decided it's time to no longer allow them to stop me.

So, I'm going to try this blogging thing again. I can't promise you beautifully curated posts or life-changing advice, just a window into my life and thoughts for the curious.

If you're curious, stay tuned. Because, without you, I'd just be a crazy lady talking to herself.