4 simple ways to embrace our inner messy creative and let it show up in our art
This is my love letter to all the creative, super-organized perfectionists out there.
I like to think about the art creation process almost like a split Jekyll and Hyde personality situation. We all have a careful, analytical, calculated Jekyll side of us that likes to sort, organize, clean and standardize anything around us. It helps us make sense of the world and it’s components as it relates to us.
But then, there is the Hyde side – the messy, crazed, ball of fury bursting at the seam with ideas and creative novelty nonsense.
Now, unlike the unfortunate ending of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, the duality of our art natures are a normal and necessary feature in the art creation process – and one really cannot function without the other being present.
Watch my full video on how to become a messier artist below:
Oftentimes, more so lately than ever before, I have heard many people struggling with this duality – most especially when it comes to accessing that crazy, messy side. They perhaps see themselves are “too tidy”, finding they need to constantly organize, sort, and put away something.
Now I totally understand the need for being tidy. I like to think I am a very tidy person in general. I like order and seeing a messy room immediately sends me into a frenzy of “holy sh!t, where’s the vacuum?! I need a mop ASAP!”
But, one thing I can attest to is this…when I am in the middle of creating something, I shut off the analytical need to judge and instead just let myself go, knowing full well that there will be a mess to clean up…later.
Why do we sometimes have trouble being messy?
If you have ever been a part of a brainstorm before, one of the biggest rules is that no idea is a bad idea. And the reason why this is so important to stress is because the brainstorm process is the time to spew out ideas, beget new ideas from the previous ones, and just let your imagination go wild. It is when we turn off the analytical, reasonable parts of our brains that we truly allow ourselves to play and access our imagination.
And if you have ever tried brainstorming AND analyzing your ideas at the same time, you are bound to find endless frustration and little to no new ideas. When the brain isn’t allowed to go very far with ideas, it will stay in the same state. No bueno, Queen Bee.
And the same applies to our artistic brains too…
We need to be messy at times. We need those flow of ideas to take us from one point to the next. But it cannot be done when we are constantly stopping ourselves, analyzing why such-and-such is a bad idea, or why using that medium would be too messy to clean up.
If you want keep your creative flow GOING during a creative venture, you got to be OK with the mess, even if it’s temporary.
So, how can I, a neat freak, be ok with my inner messy she-devil? Kinda like this…
1. Keep it confined
Ok, if you are a tidy person like me, you basically get uncomfortable heeby-jeebies when you see scattered paint tubes/art supplies everywhere in the house! I confine my art space into one part of my house. Whatever creative thing I need to do, it’s all in that one place. This means all my art supplies reside there too.
I know some of you don’t even have your own art studios or separate room to store your supplies, which is totally OK. But, try to find one safe safe room in your home that you know you can keep your supplies and confine to that one space.
2. Learn to Let Go
A lot of what goes behind being creative is letting go – whether that be expectations or preconceived notions of how something should look. Because, just with life, NOTHING turns out the way we want them too – after all, life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.
This only happens when you decide to overcome your fear of being perfect – whether it be tidy-wise or outcome-wise. Like seriously, you don’t need all that pressure on yourself. It’s not doing you any good, and it’s emotionally and creatively stunting your performance. Let that sh!t go!
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3. Put Up Blinders
The way I paint and create – I basically put on creative blinders DURING the process of creating – and once I am done (either with a major step or with the entire project), I go back into analytical clean mode.
Doing this may require a deal of effort on your behalf, and that is OK. And if putting on the blinders for that long is too much to do at once, practice putting on the blinders at certain stages in your painting.
For example: If you are painting something. First, paint the background. While it dries, do a small cleanup. Paint the second item, do a small cleanup. etc. Of course, this is a baby step and you will eventually want to be painting from start to finish without stopping and blocking the creative flow.
4. Just Start
Perhaps I sound like a broken record at this point, but sometimes, we as artists need that necessary kick in the rump to get our sorry asses up and at ’em. The more you fret and worry about a problem, the bigger and more overwhelming it becomes.
And as you might know, a body in motion will stay in motion. A body at rest stays at rest.
meaning, if you don’t start, you won’t start improving. If you take the necessary steps to overcome your aversion to the messy side, you will be one step closer to achieving it.
So do yourself a favor, just start and let the creative juices flow within you!
The creative process can be messy, but learning to love that messy side as much as the tidy side is key.
You know you have it in you. You weren’t born a tidy, clean person, ya know. You were once a toddler who loved to make messes and color on the walls. You have it in you, and you must allow the adult in you to let the little one come out to play again. You owe it to yourself.
What did you think about my tips, Queen Bees? How do you access your messy, creative side? Comment below and let me know!