On Creativity and goals

(If you are wondering right now why I am writing in English, I thought about what feels more natural to me, not in terms of my mother tongue, but more how I feel I can express myself in a more honest and direct way. Although I like the German language and it has certain benefits regarding writing, I think English is the better way to go in terms of expressing emotions in a more natural way. Again, I’m German and I have certainly emotions, it just gets easily whiney when I write in German, so…

On a side note, I wish my English teacher could see this, she [aka The Dragon] wouldn’t believe it. I always had bad grades in school 4/5 or D-E in English tests, but somehow (with the aid of video games and movies I guess,) I picked it up more than I could ever imagine. Of course, style and grammar are not perfect, but that’s not what this is about and gives me an excellent “bridge” for the next part:)

Perfectionism and Creativity:

I talked with a colleague this morning about how frustrating it is to be creative, yet feeling somehow in a prison made of your own thoughts, mostly negative one’s. I can personally say that I often find excuses to not work on something. I think I am not good enough (coming from constant comparison to the peeps and masters in the internet and elsewhere), or I think it’s too hard, thinking that I am not worthy enough to even try, and to fail in the end anyways, so why bother.

As you can see, all these things are connected with my self-image. Not only regarding my own creative ideas, skill and creativity, but also regarding other personal characteristics or traits, like discipline and ambition. I am pretty sure many creative people are like that actually, but I still do feel alone at times, seeing all these successful (what is success actually?) artists out there, when I am even too afraid to take a pen and draw some lines on white paper.

Losing time and hope

During my time at university, I took a break from all sorts of creative outlets, mostly because I worked my ass off and still had not enough to get by. I was frustrated of course and as the years went by, I loathed myself more and more for not doing anything, despite having a certain talent I lost ten years of progress because of that.

How should I get back into the game, not being able to commit to a piece, and even in trying (just a few times), feeling like not being able to put the stuff in my mind on paper? It’s like having the talking ability like a toddler and feeling like a philosopher. And the older I get, the harder it is to accept my own situation.

Coming to terms

But that’s all I have to do at that point, isn’t it? It’s about accepting who and where you are at this moment, being aware that you have dreams is actually a wonderful thing. It’s an old wisdom that you should not compare yourself to others, compare yourself only to the you of yesterday. It sounds corny, but it’s true. Many corny things are actually, we just degraded the message by putting the sayings on greeting card for two bugs.

We should cherish these thoughts more than we do, as we should cherish ourselves. It’s not about being the best, the most renowned, the big name of the industry. It’s about expressing yourself, to put ideas out in the world, to get all your inner colors out there and to have new experiences. You have more than one trait inside you. You have more than one thirst for knowledge as well.

Having a plan

I talked with a colleague of mine this morning. She struggles as well. We talked about what we actually want to do in different fields, why we aren’t doing it and we came up with ideas how to change that. It’s of course to some extent about commitment, time-management and discipline, but it’s also a question of: Whom can I show it to? Who will acknowledge my idea and the time I put into something that did not exist before? Who will listen/see what I want to tell? Who can help me get back on track again?

So we figured out that we formulate a plan, 3-4 things we want to do in a week. We will remind each other what our goals are, we will support each other in times of need. I think it’s so much more fulfilling if you can talk about what you are doing. Not so much from a perspective of an audience who should cheer you up, more from the standpoint of relating to one another. Likes on Facebook and alike a great, and people tell you that they at least like your stuff, but true encouragement comes from a person who can look also behind the scenes, sees the struggle, the hard work, determination and sometimes even sacrifice.

One friend who truly understands you on your (overused expression ahead:) journey is so much more worth than 100 people who like you, but don’t ‘get you’ the same way. Of course, I hope that one day I can reach more than one person, that I can talk about more what it means to me wanting to become an artist, and a better person. For now, I am very happy that I have two people I can trust, this friend and myself.

So, I’ll try to tell you guys also what my current plans are for a week, to get more done, to be more in the field I want to be, to get better and to be immersed in what makes me happy, but I am yet still a bit anxious and afraid, but that’s okay.

  • At least one blogpost in a week (Ha! I guess this one is done for this week ;))
  • 1 Comic/Illustration per week
  • Everday Kanji repitions on Anki, 5 new each day. (I’m using the Kanji Damage deck)
  • Once a week a total implementation of “Minna no Nihongo” into my Anki deck, with grammar and vocab alike.

Why? The reasons:

Now, I would like to talk a bit more about my motivation. This will serve me in times of hardship, when I lose all desire to do this kind of stuff because it seems overwhelming.

  • I want to draw because I want to give the world more colors, I want to express myself, I want to creative things that I love and that I think are cool or are depicting an important idea. I want to bring joy and thoughts to the world. That all may sound preposterous at first, but it’s truly how I feel. I think creators want to bring something into this world, hence the word create.
  • I want to share more thoughts on everything. I love talking to people. The world is vast, filled with wonderful and gruesome things, and if we not talk about these things, then what makes us human?
  • Many years ago I became interested in learning Japanese. Japan is still very dear to me, nearer than ever before actually and I want to rekindle that relationship again. I like speaking Japanese, I think it’s a beautiful and interesting language. I want to visit the country again, I want to make connections with people and the magic you need for that is to know the language. Kanji are one of the most beautiful written characters in my opinion, and even though they are hard to learn and remember at times, when you know them, they are like beach guards that will keep you from drowning in a sea of non-recognizable information aka Japanese newspapers etc.

So, that’s it from me for today. A very personal post this time. I sure will keep you posted as well, and if you have any plans for being more creative or knowledge-thirsty, please let me know!

Keep questing!



4 thoughts on “On Creativity and goals

  1. Eine wirklich schöne Idee, die du und deine Kollegin da hatten – wenn ihr euch gegenseitig motivieren und unterstützen könnt, bietet das ja einen weiteren Halt um eure Ziele wirklich realisieren zu können… und manchmal braucht man einfach Hilfe von außen. Deine Ziele und die Motivation sind klar formuliert und ich glaube, dass du sie umsetzen wirst!

    1. Ja, vielen Dank! Es hilft eine Deadline zu haben, und etwas auszusprechen und ganz klar zu formulieren. Dieses “ich müsste mal wieder” usw. bringt am Ende ja nichts außer Schuldgefühle XD…

  2. I often find excuses not to finish something, usually a new project (which I also tend to not finish, if it’s a sizeable project). I get distracted by my short attention span and thinking that the newer, shiny thing will be more fun and more interesting. For short ones, I often forget to follow up and repost them on my site, which doesn’t really help if I’m trying for consistency.

    Are you posting your comics/illustrations anywhere online mate that I can follow along and see and comment on? Or are these on paper and would have to be scanned in? Do you use pencils, paint or is it on the computer (and if that, with a mouse or have you lashed out and got a tablet?)?

    1. Hey there!

      I will post the comics here on my site, they will be fairly personal or slice-of-life-like, so I think it fits :).
      With the book project it’s harder to concentrate on the comic, but I will learn to manage that.

      They will be on paper and I will scan them, I have no experience with Photoshop and alike, I’ll go for a traditional way 🙂 I will use pens and maybe at a later time some copic markers as well. But my aim is to get something out there. I may have to do this today actually, because tomorrow my deadline is over ;).

      Will be a very busy evening. ^-^”

      Maybe putting all the big projects in very, very small steps could help you to overcome your attention span problem. It also helps if you try to get as much solitude as you can for these, also in terms of internet usage.

      I try to use the same music for certain projects like learning etc., because they will get me into the mood after a while.

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