The Artist’s Way Part 1:
Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelly
Allow me to begin by saying that I truly believe we are all creative. The caveat is genetic differentiation. Beneath the umbrella theme of humanity, there is a subset of us who are simply wired to choose to pursue our creativity as a means to an end. We are the crazy, offbeat ones that don’t know really have work-life balance. Who don’t compartmentalize. Who can’t sit still. Who breathe adventure and let our curiosity get the best of us. Yeah, it’s messy. But, supremely rewarding when we are committed to the ongoing cultivation of said creativity, and are courageous enough to allow that relationship with our creativity to evolve and challenge the way we assumed life as an artist was supposed to be.
For the month of July, I wanted to share the books that have reassured me that I’m not completely alone in the way I think and feel as an artist, and helped me look at those necessary painful moments as milestones that were a necessary part of my growth. This week, I will be discussing Creative Confidence; Unleashing The Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and David Kelly, shedding light on one of the longest legs of my journey through life thus far.
Have you ever heard of the “looks good, but feels bad” trap?
In production manager at Pixar, I had landed the “dream job.” Finally, my internal aspirations had been validated by life’s external stamp of success.
But, boy, was 22-year-old Mel wrong.
I mean, there were occasional glimpses of surrealism. Like, when I would participate in meetings with some of the most talented artists in the world, participating in the craftsmanship of stories and characters that would color multi-million dollar films that would last beyond lifetimes… And I would have to blink twice, thinking to myself how amazing my life is right now.
But, then, just as quickly as it was over, the clouds rolled back in and I had returned to that empty place. A feeling I just couldn’t deny any longer, beckoning me to address its call. When I was faced with the harsh reality of the source of my dissatisfaction.
I was not empowered in my role at Pixar to express my creativity.
Instead of nurturing the artist that lived inside of me, I was nurturing the creative talent that I was being paid to say “yes” or “no” to. I was shackled to “the man.” “The man” in School of Rock. “The man” that paid the bills, but doesn’t spark my soul. “The man” that surrounded me with influential people, but didn’t acknowledge my propensity to become one of the same. And, the longer I was around it, the more my anxiety increased to the point that I could no longer deny my soul’s calling to break out and be free. To be free of what “looks good, but feels bad.”
But, you know what? Even though I felt like I was being eaten alive while at my Pixar job, it was the catalyst that informed my decision to do what I do now. I was able to fully live out the version of myself that everyone had told me would make my dreams come true to ultimately realize that what we want for ourselves can only be informed by ourselves, no one else.
So, if you have ever need help getting to the root of who you are, look no further. Creative Confidence; Unleashing The Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and David Kelly serves as a reminder of what we are capable of. This book is even broken down into small digestible sections, so that you can easily pick up the book for a few minutes each day, and still glean something in a short amount of time.