Six things I wish someone told me about creativity at sixteen
1. GET FILLED UP
The first person in the bible to be filled with the spirit of God was a creative (Exodus 31). God filled all these people up with His spirit and placed a skill in their hearts to create what he asked them to. They were FIRST filled, and then they got creating. Ask God to fill you up before you take on creative ventures. Seek him with all your heart and you will, I promise, find him. The people in the bible were filled up with the spirit in order to create the tabernacle which was the holy dwelling place of God. The point is, we were created to create beauty, power and strength that is meant to be shared and heard! It is meant to have impact! If art has the power to start wars then it has the power to change the world and it can definitely have the power to add some positive light into someone’s day. To be fully focused on your creativity means first deciding how you want to use it to impact the world and that is determined by what you are filling yourself up with.
2. YOU HAVE A VOICE
It’s really hard and crap when you feel like you’re not heard in any situation. A friend of mine who is one of those people who usually everyone stops to listen to literally walked out the room we were all in once because she felt unheard. She proceeded to walk home on her own all because she wasn’t listened to in a very heated game of articulate. A mini disagreement had broken out, she’d said the right answer but she was ignored and overpowered by the louder male voices. She refused to take not being heard – I love that! Don’t let your voice be unheard and if someone’s not hearing you, make a point of not being ok with that and trust me, people will start to listen to you. The truth is, you have something to say and everyone has the right to be heard, no matter how young or old. You are not invisible, you are significant. Your voice becomes even louder as a creative because you are expressing outwardly your inner world and that makes people see YOU. They want to hear from you personally, about you- why did you paint that? They become intrigued by your motivation and meaning. They want glimpses into your world- you’re interesting and unique because of your creation. When someone compliments your work or they ask you about it they are basically saying, hey I like you. You created it; it’s a part of you! If they don’t like it, who cares? Don’t take it personal, you’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
3. SHINE BRIGHT
God wants to show you off. He is proud of you, proud to be seen with you. It’s so easy to hide away, keep everything private and be all reserved and controlled. Unfortunately, God doesn’t want this for us. My mum tells me how she sends her friends photos of me by email now and again. She tells her friends all my achievements and in way sort of brags about me I guess! It’s so embarrassing but I know that it’s because she is so proud of me. She thinks I’m so beautiful and she’s amazed that she created me. How much more so does God want to show us off? He wants to brag about us, share us with people, saying look how awesome I made her! He loves what we create and he wants to show people because it brings Him joy to see it and it brought you joy to make it. Imagine He has a whole corridor in heaven made up of all your artwork, he’s literally pinned every single thing you’ve ever created onto the wall! Skill must be shared, not for your own personal gain but because we were meant to shine like stars.
4. DON’T COMPARE
Part of being yourself in your creativity comes into knowing who you are. Don’t care what people think about you, it’s really attractive and it means you can relax into being yourself more easily. All the old masters were successful because they were themselves. Salvador Dali had a pet anteater for crying out loud. Embrace your uniqueness whilst taking inspiration from the world around you. The truth is that there will always be someone who is better than you so you can’t let comparison rob your joy and ultimately your success. You have to be yourself and not look at what you do not have. Get to know yourself, what you like and what you don’t you like. Focus on the inspiring people and things that make a difference to your world.
5. BELIEVE YOU CAN
Believe you can do it, believe that you can make something out of it one day. Someone asked me once, do you want to spend the rest of your life working for someone you don’t really want to work for or do you want to spend your life doing what you love? Because even if it didn’t work out at least you know you tried. If you want to do a degree then pick what you love, don’t choose the degree that will get you the job that pays well or that your parents think you should do. Most degrees don’t even land you that job after anyway! Do the degree that you are passionate about or really interested in. If you are just going to university because everyone else is then you’re better off not going. University is great for meeting new people and socialising but it is not the only option out there!
Faithfulness will never let you down. Imagine life is a race, we are all running in that race and many will fall over and give up when it gets too hard. You will see plenty of people around you do this, but don’t let their fall effect your race. No one else can run the race for life for you. Don’t give up on God or your creativity because it feels slow, too hard or invisible. Patience, it takes time to grow and develop. Trust me; you’ll see how God will be faithful in your faithful pursuits.
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