reconnecting with creativity pep talk

reconnecting with creativity: pep talk + sketchbook tour!

What’s up witches?!? Welcome back to California Witchcraft!

Today I want to give you the “reconnecting with creativity” pep talk I had to give myself. It’s about stepping into your own power more confidently, and reconnecting with your unique creativity. 

The reason I think this is so important to bring up is that I think right now more than ever the world needs good people who want good things for each other and the world to feel empowered. I believe that when we are in touch with our own creativity, we are able to come up with creative solutions to our challenges. 

I think we need that right now!

And I want people who have ANY kind of creative impulse inside of them to feel empowered to channel that into something that might end up really helping the world! So I hope that by sharing my realizations and experiences, it can inspire you to connect with your creative force inside of you.

So! I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a lot of talented people sort of “waiting in the wings” right now, feeling a bit too self conscious to share their gifts with the world. And I understand why that can be the case. Because if we look at where we are at collectively in terms of content creation and artistry right now, we really have reached such a high level of connectivity and awesomeness at so many things. You can go on the internet and instantly the find the best person at any given thing.

On many levels this is super inspiring! And I think on other levels, sometimes we can get stuck at the point of feeling intimidated by that, and don’t allow the inspiration to fully come through to inspire something within ourselves. I have definitely felt intimidated by not being as amazing as other creators out there, wondering if it was worth it to even try. Wow, that sounds really self-defeating! But the thing is, I have heard other people say this before too. So I wanted to give this a voice, and tell you how I kind of talked myself out of this.

There is no point to just disintegrate into nothing and not try at all! Morbidly enough, that is an option when you die and let’s face it, we are all mortal. So as long as we are alive on this earth with the ability to create, we have the ability to keep learning and creating new things. That has to be one of the most exciting things about being on the planet!

So this is how I decided to start thinking about things from a different perspective that allowed me to take my power back and regain confidence in exploring my creativity as it is, perfection be damned:

Here’s the thing. If you watch a movie right now, especially an action film or something, you can really see that those special effects we have now have evolved to such a high level. Those CG happenings are so seamlessly integrated with the rest of the film that we are almost desensitized to that high level of artistry and perfection. It is now what we expect.

Sometimes it feels like the same thing applies to social media, or across all forms of media in general. We really are able to access what looks to be the highest level of greatness in any given area. We can witness a constant stream of perfection and beauty if we choose to. And of course we want to surround ourselves with perfection and beauty; we enjoy and love those things!

But back to being inspired vs intimidated, I want to remind you that those flawless CG effects are only one category of ways to make magic in film. Think about claymation or puppetry movies. (The Dark Crystal comes to mind. The grizzly scene where the skeksis is pretty much vaporized into a pile of bones is forever burned into my childhood brain.) There is something so visceral, gritty, and REAL about imperfect creations, even if they are a little more clunky. It’s not that they are more interesting necessarily, I just think they have two different levels of appeal.

On one hand we have amazing computer generation effects that are perfect and seamless, and on the other, we have handmade artistic interpretations that can be a bit clunky and imperfect yet also have a bit more personality! (In my opinion.)

So what I realized is that we don’t need to have just one kind of content available. And that is something I have to remind myself, because I am definitely noticing algorithms on Instagram, YouTube, etc. do really favor these massive content creators that have a super wide range of appeal. What I like to remember about that too is that every single one of those people started somewhere. Even the most amazing graphics person making the best special effects in film right now was a drooling baby at some point!

 I think it is important to remember this, because sometimes we talk ourselves out of cool ideas before we even get started. And that is the whole point of taking some kind of journey, especially creatively, is that you learn a lot not just about your creation but about yourself as you go. I want to put myself out there to set an example to say that it’s okay to do that!

“Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.”

-Jake, Adventure Time

I realized that the types of creators I really gravitate towards looking at right now are the people who are a little less perfect and a little more real. They have something unique to offer, even if they are not perfect in every way. I have also recently seen a lot of super talented smaller creators express frustration at feeling unseen. So I hope I can contribute this to the conversation and tell you to keep creating!

It’s okay if perfection isn’t really your vibe. It doesn’t have to be your vibe. I think we need to let go of this idea that we need to be perfect just because we have seen other people look and be perfect on the internet. I think those people are really talented and amazing, and I also think there is something really interesting about the people who go in a different direction. Realizing this helped me let go of a lot of my self criticisms I was stuck on, so I hope you can take this and apply it to any areas where you are feeling less than confident.

Be weird! Be interesting!

Be a little bit or a lot different in your own way, and I feel like you will find your groove most authentically. I realized I kept coming back to this – I kept coming back to drawing even though a lot of people told me it was stupid. Deep down I knew that those criticisms were maybe well intentioned, but not all that is true in the world. Every day I go online and see artists succeeding!

I know that it is possible to create your own unique success, whatever that means to you. I see people doing it all the time! So for anyone who thinks it’s not possible, I volunteer to put myself out there and do my best to take ownership of this in my own life. My hope is to teach you what I learn along the way to inspire your own journey!

I think it is refreshing and interesting to see what unique people have to offer. I do feel that just like how CG movies now don’t blow our minds the same way they did when that technology first came out, we are getting desensitized to so many forms of perfection and I think we need to throw some different things in the mix and switch it up!

I personally believe that creativity and especially art can be subversive. With shit somewhat hitting the fan in various ways especially here in the US, there really is no better time to get in touch with that creativity – find new ways to communicate and spread messages. So there might be a little bit of a subversive ideology backing my motivation to tell you this (just in case), but I also just really want you to feel empowered.

When we feel like our best selves, we are able to make the best decisions for our best lives and best planet.

So what I want to communicate most to you today is, PLEASE JUST TRY! 

If there is something you have been meaning to create but you have been holding yourself back because you are afraid that you aren’t good enough or maybe you don’t have anything worth contributing to the world – that sounds so harsh but it’s a voice I have had inside me that I really want to bring up and kick out and I suspect I’m not the only one – it’s time to LET GO!

A little backstory…

I realize a lot of people who know me currently are not aware that drawing has been a big part of my life for a long time. My first official job was at a Halloween store, but the first way I actually made money was by making comics in elementary school and selling them on the playground for a nickel! So I was a young entrepreneur and an artist, but over the years I got told many times that being an artist is a waste of time because you can never make any money.

I was told to give up, so for a while (years), I did! Luckily, I was able to try various fun careers that allowed me to use my creativity in other ways. I enjoyed that, but recently especially spending more time alone gave me time to realize that I had abandoned a part of myself that was really important to me because of negative voices in my head that weren’t mine. 

I realized that has been preventing me from sharing things that could be of some benefit to the world. I don’t have a messiah complex that some silly doodle I make will totally save the planet, but I will tell you that sometimes art and humor can make all the difference in getting people through tough times. I went through some super gnarly shit as a kid, and the reason I started drawing was to make myself and the people around me smile, and to illustrate the idea that there could be more to life than what I saw every day. I don’t mean to share this to complain about my childhood – I feel lucky to have survived and to have the privilege of being here to say this and I feel like because I can be here and speak on this, I feel compelled to pay that forward and encourage you to do the same thing.

My hope is this helps explain why I decided to reconnect with my creativity and encourage you to do the same. I believe each and every one of us on this planet has something unique to offer. Sometimes that gets suppressed, whether it’s from our own inner critic or the voices we hear around us. 

And we are not just talking about creativity as in being an artist – any time you create a particular circumstance or situation, that is a creative thing you are doing! If you want to create change in the world, that is creation. You have something to offer, and I know deep down you know it!

I want to empower you with the knowledge that you can create something new, and that the things you see in front of you aren’t the only options available. That’s really good advice for life – I am getting the spiritual shivers, so I know that is a good tidbit to put in there!

The other very exciting reason I wanted to bring all this up is that I just finished writing and illustrating a book, California Witchcraft! It is coming out any day now – it is in review! (Will update with a link.) 

I will make an entire video and post next to explain more about what the book is about, but just to give you an idea, it is about creating your own unique magic in a way that you can actually apply to your life. It is definitely in a category of its own – and it is super weird! (In a fun way of course.) 

In the video I’ll take you on a tour through the art I’ve been making lately – the book contains over 80 original illustrations! Growing up I was really inspired by 90s cartoons, comic book art, and video games, so you may notice that sneaking through! Check out the sketchbook tour in the video to see my high school notebook that I rescued from a dumpster, too! (I threw out most of my art telling myself it was worthless, but had second thoughts on this book I filled with goofy doodles.) I still use the same art supplies from high school, as they are still my favorites – pens, glitter, and watercolor!

More updates on everything are coming soon – for now, thank you for coming on this journey of creative rediscovery with me! Here’s the theme: CREATE… even if it’s bad! Even if it’s not that good! Because even if you create something and it’s not as good as what you know you could do, you have learned something about how you could do it better next time. I hope that by putting myself out there, it has inspired you to do the same.

Imperfection is interesting! So don’t be afraid to try something new and put something new out there. You can see my drawings aren’t perfect and neither am I, I filmed this whole freaking video with a giant pimple on my face. But you know what, none of this has to be perfect. You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy. Perfect is not my vibe – encouraging and inspiring you is! So hopefully I have done at least a little bit of that for your beautiful self!

To stay updated, stay in touch on Instagram:

@californiawitchcraft

(for the witchy stuff)

@unicornface

(for me & my artsy stuff)

Oh also!!! I’m going by “UNICORNFACE” as my artist name for publishing my book. I chose this to fully embrace my whimsical unicorn persona for the project!

Love & magic to you always! May these words leave you with a feeling of empowerment and hope for the future. Sometimes just the thought that things can get better is what gets us to better times! I look forward to talking to you more about this in the future, and for now, I am wishing and WITCHING you a magical day and life!

unicornface

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