One of my favourite things about the world is that everyone is different.
For example, it makes life so much more interesting when people have different techniques for making tea. It starts conversations, maybe arguments, but it makes a connection. Connections are made over similarities and differences. I love that.
It’s one of the reasons I love art; there’s just so many different types of art that appeal to so many different people. For example, I love the painting I included at the top of this post. You may love it too, and we could connect over that similarity. However, you may not love it as much as you love something by Da Vinci. We’re different, and we can connect over that too.
It’s also useful that people are different. It’s important that not everyone wants to be bankers, not everyone wants to be writers, and not everyone wants to be teachers. We need difference.
And we don’t only need it in people. We need to look for it ourselves as creatives. I often find myself stuck in a creative rut. I’m only engaging with art that is connected with work, and I feel my creative juices drying up. Suddenly, creativity feels homogenous and boring, rather than the exciting endeavour it used to be. I’m lacking connection beyond my own bubble.
Which brings to me around to art that speaks to your heart.
I’ve spoken about engaging in creative research before, but this is something more.
Creative burnout is real, and part of it is that we end up stuck in a hole that is filled only with one type of art and creativity.
It’s exhausting to be surrounded by the same thing all the time. Just because we make one particular type of art doesn’t mean that we don’t love other art too.
What can we do then? Burnt out as we are, we need to give all the precious time we have to what we’re making. Otherwise it won’t happen.
But it also won’t happen if you end up bored with what you’re doing and leave it behind.
Get out there. And find art that speaks to your heart.
Go to an art gallery, go to the theatre, go to a concert; go somewhere that doesn’t feel like work.
Make a creative connection that makes your heart smile. It might feel like it’s too good to be true, but those moments sustain you in your art.
It can’t always just be about hard work. We’re artists, after all. Sometimes it has to be about the heart.
Enjoy what I write, or have thoughts to add? Take time to like, comment and share. Collaboration makes us all better creators, so join the conversation and start inspiring others!
Jenny Guilford / Jena Ren 2022
This post was originally published March 2020.
The image is sourced from https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436535