When I was a kid, I loved to draw. The proof was in the family dictionary and really any paper around the house that I covered in doodles and doe-eyed figurines. It didn’t take long for my parents to grow excited about my future prospects. They wondered in bemusement if they were looking at the next Picasso. I seized upon these imaginings and started to consider, even at a young age, how I was going to make money as an artist. This inevitably meant I also began to compare myself to anyone in my vicinity with an iota of talent. By the time I’d reached high school, I hated drawing and I was officially done. I told myself I wasn’t good enough and there was no point in pursuing it further. As I mentioned in a previous post, it took some time to rediscover my creative self again.
I recently had coffee with a friend who told me that she too had been artistic as a child. Somewhere along the way, with all the associated trappings of adulthood, she stopped devoting time to creative pursuits. Now she’s trying to figure out how to create space for them again in her life. But where to begin?
The one method that has worked best for me over the years has been the “just do it” mentality. Note that this does not come easy and is always accompanied by fear (yay). The idea in my head is always far more wonderful than the execution of it, particularly on a first try. But over time, you get better and you will still be further along than the person with the brilliant idea, but who failed to deliver on it.
Since adopting the “just do it” mentality, here’s what’s happened for me over the years:
- I was a reporter for Metro News
- I was a production assistant on a Hollywood movie starring Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan
- I launched my first documentary, had a sold out first screening and it was one of the most talked about events in Ottawa in 2014
- I founded the first young professionals network at Health Canada, my former employer
- This essay I wrote on my name was published in the Globe and Mail
All this to say, it’s ok if you have artistic aspirations and don’t know where to begin. Now take that first step into the unknown and see how you surprise yourself. Let me know in the comments below where you are stuck and let’s talk about what that next step could look like.