The inner critic. Self-consciousness. Lack of confidence. Lack of talent. Lack of time. Fear of rejection.
There are many reasons why creatives are hesitant to showcase their work, or even try to create. Maybe it's a lack of time or energy because of an intense day job. Maybe they worry it's not good enough to share. Maybe they constantly struggle to find inspiration to make art a daily practice.
At Creative Office Hours, we believe that being a creative requires commitment to your artistic practice - with a big emphasis on "practice." With practice, being creative will feel less like an internal struggle and more like a muscle working from memory. Below are some of my favorite resources to help understand where creativity comes from, how to fight inner critics, and find some inspiration from fellow artists.
"The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield
This book is a classic for any artist or creative in general. When I read it for the first time a few years ago, it gave me perspective on my hesitation to show my work, let alone even call myself "an artist". I always recommend this book as the first step for someone who wants to take themselves seriously as an artist.
"The Crossroads of Should and Must" by Elle Luna
Elle Luna's Medium essay and now book was a sensation a few years back. It was gifted to me by a friend who for too long listened to me talk about how I wanted to be more passionate about my work and had thousands ideas of what I wanted to do. Along with Luna's impressive resume (she was a designer for IDEO and now is a successful artist, speaker and author) and whimsical illustrations in her book, she provides a practical method to distinguish your passion and find focus. When I first read this book, it made me realize it's healthy to compartmentalize my livelihood versus the work I'm called to do.
The Jealous Curator's Art For Your Ear Podcast
Danielle Krysa is charming, approachable, and funny, and it shines when she interviews artists about their work. She's able to get the most introverted, guarded folks to open up about their work and laugh at themselves and where they find inspiration.
"Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert
I had my reservations about Gilbert, but reading Big Magic opened my eyes about self-imposed hurdles I created for myself and also demystifies the romanticism that is associated with being a creative.
Art History Babes: Daily Creativity Chats
Corrie from the Art History Babes (another great art podcast) breaks down the science behind creativity, how to achieve a "flow state" and explains that creativity is a muscle to be worked in this YouTube mini-series.