You don’t need a creative business, to be creative.
“Ah that’s nice for you, but I don’t have any talent. I can’t make things, let alone sell them, I don’t have a creative bone in my body….”
This is the sentence that most people deflect back to me, when I explain that I stitch cotton rope together to make homewares and that this is my full time living. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that everybody should leave their jobs and start building creative businesses BUT it is very interesting to me that people divide themselves into two camps: I am a creative, or I am not a creative – an idea I’d like to challenge.
Let me tell you something. Everybody has creativity. My perception of the world is that you can find creativity in everything. Did you put your own playlist together on spotify to enjoy on your morning run? Have you ever used fruit to make a smiley face on your kids weetabix? Creativity can be found in the most seemingly mundane activity.
Six years ago I was not living creatively. But, I knew that I wanted to change that, so I started a weekly blogging project that meant I needed to make or upcycle something. The idea was to put the brakes on my personal spending & get back to the make do and mend lifestyle of our previous generations. I learnt a lot & I definitely spent less, but ultimately I learnt two lessons that eventually lead me to be able to build a full time creative business.
1.) Small daily habits forge long term paths.
Every week I had a deadline, so I had to make regular (mostly daily) efforts around my existing responsibilities, to make sure I hit those deadlines. Once that habit was formed I got better at planning & executing the ideas in my head. This has proved invaluable over the last two years of setting up and running my own creative business.
2.) You have to start somewhere & It’s totally okay not to get it right first time & our failures are as valid and valuable as our successes.
In our insta perfect world, it’s so easy to think that everyone is getting it right all of the time. We look at pinterest and wonder how on earth people just clicked their fingers and made that fabulous cake/dress/styled to perfection living room. Well… they didn’t. I recently posted a rainbow circle of coloured bowls on my instagram. It got the most likes I’ve ever had. That photo took me over 50 shots to get. I had a moment of inspiration after my usual stack of bowls fell over & then I set to work. But you know what, I learnt a lot from that one experience. How to take an aerial view photograph without casting shadows, which colours should go on which side etc. This one creative moment has informed how I will move forward with my photography in the future.
I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but the point is that you don’t have to share all of your attempts at something and it’s better to get stuck into a creative project and learn something, rather than avoid it and learn nothing. Have you always wanted to knit your own scarf? – well get cracking and never mind about those dropped stitches. Do you love those wall hangings with the tassels and the fluffy wool. Get yourself a cheapy loom and find a youtube tutorial. Make this the day where your drop your byline “I’m not a creative” and start somewhere.
by Jessica Geach – Self taught creative & owner of Ruby Cubes