There is a fundamental need in everyone to have an outlet where we can explore our creativity.  It is not essential that all creative endeavours have to have commercial aspirations, but as a way to encourage self-expression.

The process of creative expression can be a solitary journey, even when involving others in the process. Often, you may find yourself struggling with procrastination, lack of focus or inspiration and your ability to see things through to completion or to achieve the intended results that you envisioned.

We question our abilities and that can lead to self-doubt. We lose our way and our desire to complete the projects that we started. We feel alone in our processes and that we are solely responsible for our successes or failures. We perceive that everyone else that we view in our chosen medium of creative expression is always motivated and inspired and we begin to question our own worth through the trap of comparison.

Despite the process of artistic expression being typically viewed as a solitary journey, a key factor that we need to embrace is the value and impact of community. What is community? It can be defined as a fellowship with others as a result of shared interests, attitudes and aspirations.

Often, we perceive the idea of community as a larger group gathering, which tends to suit those who are extroverts by nature, and who excel in situations where there is a lot of social interaction and the sharing of ideas in a collective nature. Not everyone is comfortable with these types of situations and therefore the opportunity to connect in large group scenarios does not encourage creative growth.

We need to re-evaluate what we consider to be the idea of community and realise that there are situations that can benefit each of us as we struggle to seek and develop our creative aspirations.

We are all familiar with the large group scenario but often don’t consider other options, such as one-on-one conversations or small group gathering (in person or online) as being part of our community approach to development. They are all integral and valuable parts of inspiring and motivating you through your creative journey.

I personally have found great benefit throughout my own process by exploring the following:

Connect with a Peer or Mentor

Make time to connect with a peer or mentor and have an honest, open conversation about your dreams, ideas, successes, failures and other challenges. By sharing your story with them, you can not only get some valuable guidance and encouragement, but also inspire their own journey. By opening up yourself to these types of conversations, it can also be a great motivator as the other person can check in with you and hold you accountable in completing your projects.

Attend a Workshop

The commitment of a full regular class can sometimes be overwhelming, but signing up for a workshop, whether it’s in person or online,  is a wonderful way to connect with others who share the same interests and are also looking to acquire or rediscover their skills. Take the time to connect with others to share your experiences or ask questions and you will often walk away with a renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm. 

Typically, it is in our nature to connect with other people who we already know, but I encourage you to take a few moments to talk to someone you have not met before and have an open conversation. I have often found that the ability to talk with someone who does not yet know your story or history is a great way to open up and find new inspiration.

Join an Online Forum/ Discussion Group

There are many different places online that invite people with similar interests to gather and post discussion topics or ask questions. Take the time to visit a variety of different forums and find ones that suit what you are looking for. Sometimes someone else’s question or comment can resonate with you and help you find your creative way.

Everyone has value and your own story can be the encouragement that others need to overcome their own creative block. Embrace the value of community connection and you will find yourself motivated to tackle those projects and challenges that are overwhelming you. We all need support and encouragement in our journeys and let the community become your cheerleader and steer you to the creative finish line where you can all celebrate each other’s successes.

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