Welcome back to the Joyous Misfit Blog!
I hope you slept really well last night. I hope you enjoyed the last meal you ate, really noticed the flavours and savoured them. I hope you’re free of pain, and if you’re not, I hope you’re managing it. I hope you feel positive and hopeful today, tomorrow, and every day after. I hope you’re kind to yourself when you trip up, make mistakes or fudge it.
Stuck in a bit of a creative block?
We’ve all been there. Staring at the page, willing ideas to come to us. Willing our hands and fingers to move of their own volition.
Something I (and a lot of us, probably) had to learn the long and hard way was how much my mental health actually impacts my art. Not just the state of my mental health - but how I was treating myself.
We’re always taught to be kind and patient with other people, but it’s something a lot of us aren’t very good at when we have to afford the same luxury to ourselves! I don’t know about you, but I’m a doer. I’m always on the go, and I’m always busy, and those small windows I put aside for myself sometimes get smaller and smaller until they vanish - because it’s just not a priority - but it SHOULD BE!
Putting yourself first
A bit of an alien idea for most people, right? There will almost always be people we love who come before us. But the problem with that is, when you get into that habit, things that aren’t even important in comparison start to come before you.
You’re number one, and that isn’t a selfish ideology - quite the opposite, actually. Kind of like if the pressure drops in an aeroplane and the oxygen masks drop, you’re told to put yours on before you help anyone else with theirs - because you can’t be completely effective for other people if you’re not doing the same for you!
Doing things you enjoy. Eating that yummy meal that might not be on your diet plan. Having a lazy day. Having a lie-in (even the notion, right?!) on the weekend. Creating art because you simply feel like it, and understanding that not every art piece has to have a goal, or be void of mistakes - its value doesn’t lie in how much you might sell it for, it lies in how much joy or catharsis it brought you when you were creating it.
Noticing and realising your completely unique value
7.9 billion people on Earth, and there is literally no one else who brings to the table what you do. Both in your art and in your personality. So, next time you’re thinking “oh, there’s too much competition,” or “no one will buy/like my art,” or “I’m not as good as so and so,”
Stop comparing yourself to others… seriously, don’t make me reach through the screen and shake it out of you!! Because you’re bloody amazing, and there’s always going to be people in the world who need to see what you create.
The thing is…
No one else will value you if you don’t value yourself first.
Ouch. A harsh truth, but one you need to hear all the same. Because for all your flaws, your mistakes, your areas where your skill isn’t so refined, the things you aren’t too good at - you can’t fully tap into your amazing, creative brain if you don’t learn to love EVERYTHING about yourself.
I don’t know what it is about the human race, but we really seem to have an inferiority complex. (Well, most of us, anyway.) We’re awful at acknowledging when we’re great at something, and very often talk down our successes, milestones and talents until we actually believe that they’re not that important, or not that impressive. We’re all guilty of it to a degree, and I think it’s down to our society - but realising it is the first massive step to actually overcoming that, and recognising your fabulousness.
At first, it’ll feel weird, talking yourself up, or responding “thank you” to compliments, or nodding in agreement when someone points out a piece of your work and tells you how beautiful it is - but loving ourselves is something we all crave but never really seem to do, so you’ll become a role model for other people, artist or not, for your self-confidence and self-kindness.
A little while ago, when I noticed my creative processes felt like they were drying up, my inspiration waned, that creative spark seems to get dimmer and dimmer, I had an amazing month of putting myself first.
My mental health was top priority, I did things that made me feel good, things that brought me happiness, tried new things, kept my stress levels down and stepped away from social media a bit. It was fantastic. It rejuvenated me, and I learned that if you don’t have times like this in your life, you can’t move forward or evolve creatively.
So, if you’re stuck in a creative block, try something today that’ll boost you. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments - I’d love to hear about the different ways you put yourself first! Maybe there’s something that hasn’t crossed my mind yet that I could try, or maybe there are ways to be kind to yourself I do that I could share with you!
Can't wait to hear what you've been up to!
P.S: I ran some amazing 1:1 tutoring classes last week - we had great fun, and there's no better time to work on your skills with my complete attention and guidance - book fast though, because these spaces fill up quick!