I look at my work table (which is an absolute mess – magazine cuttings, watercolours, brushes and scraps all over the surface), take a seat, and think; “What should I make today?”
I say “should” because I don’t just flick through things to get inspired like I used to, but instead, I am thinking about what I should do that might be a tangible product for somebody to buy.
This is dumb.
It’s dumb because I can’t force it. You can’t force the creativity to make something you think others will buy. That cannot be your only motivation, because it just doesn’t work.
Not for me anyway.
To make something good I have to like it and enjoy making it. There’s not going to be much heart and soul in something if one is only doing it for the cash.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou
I’ve spoken about this recently with a few friends and we have all agreed that there is so much focus on the side hustle these days that it can seem like a selfish thing to just sit down and enjoy doing something for the sake of it.
If you are a creative person, making something is something that you have to do for your own sanity. I miss it a lot when I feel like I can’t be creative. It actually worsens my depression when I am not partaking in at least one of my creative hobbies. I have to do it to feed my soul, to process emotions and to hold that tangible project in my hands at the end.
And yeah it is an amazing feeling when somebody wants to buy something you have made, but it’s not the end of the world if they don’t. What’s most important is carving out that time for yourself to do what you enjoy doing, just for the sake of your own enjoyment and happiness. And that’s something I need to remind myself of more often.
“The highest prize we can receive for creative work is the joy of being creative. Creative effort spent for any other reason than the joy of being in that light filled space, love, god, whatever we want to call it, is lacking in integrity. . .”
– Marianne Williamson