These days, immersion in arts and culture has been democratized thanks primarily to technology. Stuff that used to be accessible only to a privileged few has been made accessible to the general public. This has led to more people getting inspired by the works of artists from all kinds of aesthetic persuasion, from a variety of cultural eras. And more and more people are feeling the urge to create themselves.
The internet leads the way in enabling people to hone their creativity. Now, you no longer need substantial financial capital to create. Sometimes a Wi-Fi connection is enough. If you wish to design graphics, you can visit the free platform called Canva. If you want to make videos, you can go to Animoto. If you feel like writing comics, there’s the cartoon generator called Script My Toon.
The point is, now more than ever, becoming a creative has been made easier for everyone. But it’s still worth noting that when it comes to artistry it’s not enough to tap into what technology has to offer. You must invest in your artistry. To do so, here are some practices you may follow.
Immerse yourself in works of art
There’s no better way to improve your artistry than to immerse yourself in works of art from the past and present. If you plan on writing a novel, read voraciously. Go back to the classics, and sample the works of Sophocles, Homer, and Ovid. Fast forward to the present and bask in the words of Ocean Vuong and Zadie Smith.
If you want to create music, listen to Bob Dylan’s entire repertoire. Devote time to what your underground contemporaries are making as well. The key is to expand your knowledge of different aesthetics and approaches.
Protect your inner world
While it’s thanks to technology that we get a lot of opportunities to create these days, unfortunately, technology also has its downsides. For instance, it can rob us of our inner universe. The constant and continuous feedback loop enabled by social media can deafen our soul’s ear to what truly matters.
With that said, we must find time to tune out the noise. That is if we want to better hear ourselves.
Walk, or run for that matter
Charles Dickens liked to travel on foot. So did Ernest Hemingway. Meanwhile, Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, advocates running. It’s easy to understand why these authors are taken by these physical activities.
Writing does not happen in the act of writing alone. The same goes for painting, sculpting, or in any artistic endeavor for that matter. You take into the process all the line of thoughts and internal monologues you have gathered from doing other activities. And walking and running happen to be two of the most conducive activities for those creative inspirations to bubble up.
The world exists for you to observe. By all means, observe it with heightened senses. All the smells, the sounds, the sights, the tastes the world has to offer, you can tap for when you are ready to create.
The biggest mistake you can commit against your creative soul is to deprive it of experiencing all the sensory details that are already at your disposal. Most artists are neurotic and anxious and if you belong to this category you probably like staying indoors. Even if that is the case, you can still exercise your skill in observing. Try seeing your room in ways you’ve never seen it before.
Talk to people
You get creative inspiration from watching movies, reading books, listening to music, looking at paintings in a museum. Talking to people can have the same effect. That is if you know how to listen. And listening is different from hearing. The latter lacks something crucial, the gift of attention.
So the next time you are with a friend, be an active listener. Give your friend your full attention, sans judgment. You will be surprised at how rewarding the process can be.
Follow these simple practices religiously and in no time you will improve as an artist. Your book of poems will become a bestseller, with Beyonce knocking on your door to include your verses in her visual album, like what happened to Warsan Shire. Or your tongue-in-cheek rap music video might go viral, inspire numerous think pieces, and catapult you to worldwide stardom, like what happened to Rich Brian. Yes, there’s no stopping you. If you can dream it, the universe will align to give your dream to you. Just give yourself, and your artistic soul, time to grow.