Find Your Creative Passion
Followed by the post from last month about choosing a creative lifestyle, I received questions about how to know which creative passion to focus on, and how to find your creative passion in the first place!
As an artist, what I do is very specific: I make surreal photo-manipulations that almost always include a nature element and a human element. The truth is that I did not wake up one morning and start doing this. It took me many years to develop my style. When I was a kid and throughout high school, I drew, painted, and made 3D objects, all in very different mediums. Following this, I took a photography course in the last year of high school, paired with playing around with computer illustration. Even after that, it took about 5 years to realize I should focus on making surreal art photography and develop a career as an artist.
Do you want to find or incorporate a creative skill into your life? Are you not sure if you’re doing something you really love, and not just like?
The following is a breakdown of what’s worked for me in identifying my passion and developing a creative lifestyle.
How do you know you’re doing something you love?
Getting started: Trying different things
Art and photography wasn’t the only thing I’ve tried in my life. In fact, I try different things all the time. Aside from trying different artistic mediums, I tried things like dance lessons, piano lessons, traveling, building different types of companies, lecturing, and teaching others. The point is, I tried. I didn’t feel the passion behind all of them like I do with art photography. Some of the things were fun, but didn’t stick, while others did. Trying different things is fun and playful, and you never know what will turn into a life-long passion!
Is there a desire to continue and get good at the craft?
When I started making art, I really sucked. You can see examples bellow of what I was working on 10 years ago. As you can tell, I was a angry goth kid. You can also see that the art was not always good. But when I made it, both the process and the finished pieces made me feel a sense of joy. I felt a need to come back to it, and a desire to get good at the craft.
Revisit your childhood
I see my baby nephew being encouraged to play and try what he wants. We’re all encourages to do different things as kids. Then something happens when we get older. We get busy. We start going to classes, going to work, and most of our time is taken by things we feel obligated to do. Maybe we would’ve been really good at that skill we loved when we were kids, but we didn’t have time to explore it. As adults, we’re often encourages to develop practical skills that will help us make a living, instead of necessarily following a passion. I encourage you to go back to when you were 7. What did you like then? This may help you identify your passion.
You get in a state of flow
The theory of Flow by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, is one that rings true for me with my art photography. When I come up with a project idea that I really love, I really feel like there’s no stopping it. It’s as though it takes its own power and forces its existence into the world. Sometimes I go days without taking proper lunch breaks, I wake up and fall asleep thinking about it. All I want to do is work on it. If you feel something similar then you have absolutely found a passion.
What to do when you find your creative passion?
Finding the Time
I often have conversations with friends about how to actually incorporate what they love to do into their lives. Here are some common claims:
- I have a 9-5 job.
- I’ve got kids to take care of.
- I have to pursue this other lucrative opportunity.
I get it, it’s not easy to make time for your passion. We all have commitments and obligations. But, I really want to encourage everyone to stop hiding behind this excuse and start incorporating what you know you really want to do into your life. Just like anything else, this is hard work. There are no shortcuts to creative or financial success. When altering your lifestyle, it’s about diversifying the things you’re doing, with things you love. Create freedom in your life to keep a sense of well-being. There is always a way to make your passion lucrative as well. My article about how I chose a creative lifestyle may aid with this.
In the process of trying different things and diversifying our lives, we’ll sometimes get really busy. When you get busy, eliminate some things, and protect the stuff you love. Don’t give up on the thing you know you really enjoy.
Read my article with tips to free-up time.
I really think we all have a creative passion in us. What really gives you joy? What do you really want to be doing right now? Do you love styling yourself, decorating your home, of find yourself making creative baked goods? Go out there and try it, and let me know how it goes!