By Lorecelle Villaroya
Coverart by: Meena Shayna
If you are like me who isn’t innately creative, you will probably be familiar with how the pressure is larger than the initiative to keep creating. But this is the same for those who were born with an artistic hand as well. If anything, theirs are much more pressing because of the surrounding environment that they have considering the artistic background that they have already built.
But here is an open letter for every creative soul out there that is better than none. Shrug off perfection and build the anticipation of being satisfied with the progress more than the result.
As a frustrated creative myself, I have always seen people’s results with jealous eyes because of how they have had things great without thinking of what lies beyond. Perhaps for most of them, there were tears shed and even metals tasted but still, they showed up.
Regardless of anything that may be hindering you from doing the things that you love, here is your sign to take it easy. Art does have theories and technicalities to follow but yours doesn’t have to be. So, pause. Reassess what art means to you.
For me, art is an outlet. It is my channel to untangle the chaos that’s going through the streets of my mind. They often get overwhelming so I use art in whatever form it may take just so I could release them. Because I chose to, I was able to breathe. And I guess you should choose to, too.
However, it will not be the same for everyone. What works for me may not work for you so here are some little seeds that I planted along the way that bore fruit to me now. Hopefully, they will bear fruit for you someday, too!
Let yourself be free!
Sometimes, no one else brings us down more than we do. And it is undeniably harder to battle with your own mind and expectations so letting yourself be free will be harder, too. But the key here is to seek no one’s validation. Again, assess what art means to you and what it means to be creative. And remember, you shouldn’t compare your day 1 to other’s day 1000.
You are at your own pace and you may think that you could’ve done better only if you showed up but what’s more important is to take accountability now. Doodle at least once a day or string a poem together, even with 4 stanzas a day only. Make it a habit until you couldn’t last a day without doing any of it anymore. And don’t lock yourself in other people’s expectations and own frustrations. You do you.
Remember what you are doing it for.
I, myself, always look at other people’s results as well for inspiration. But sometimes, my green eyes just resurfaces. It often dominates the silver lining that allowed me to show up. So, I am a turtle who goes back to her shell just after attempting to go out of it. And sometimes, I justify it with “at least I showed up,” but it is actually counterproductive to do so. Showing up, at least in my vocabulary for progress, means actually producing something or doing something toward it and not just comparing yet again.
It can still be seen as progress when you look at other people’s successes but it will not bear fruit if you see it with the wrong eyes. If you look at what they have in such a way that you look down on what you don’t that is exactly the opposite of what you ought to be doing. So, reassess the sole purpose of why you do what you do. And always go back to it. You answer to no one other than yourself.
Look at the little things.
They say happiness and the genuine one often roots from the process and not just in the results. True enough, I enjoy the little things and the steps I jump through more than I enjoy the results. Because I am already fulfilled while I was doing what I was doing, what will turn up will just be a bonus. If it’ll turn out good the way I want to, then great. That’s an extra boost of serotonin. But if not, it’s okay too because I genuinely had fun in the process.
The thing is, we can’t enjoy what we are capable of producing now if we don’t look at the little things. If there’s anything money can’t ever buy, that is contentment. And even splurging for different art materials and even books can’t fill that void for contentment. What fills it is the emotions you feel when you go through the process of producing an output. So, learn to take a step back and look at the little things. Often, they are what matters most.
As a person who wasn’t born with an artistic hand nor a wide, creative mind, I try so hard to change my perspective to be happy with what I have instead of dwelling on those that I don’t. Sometimes, I succeed. Most of the time, I don’t. But you know what, at least I tried.
And this is not something to shame you for not getting up and getting something over with. This is a gentle wake-up call for you to remember that getting at least a tiny thing done is better than doing nothing at all.
So, show up! Shrug off the pressure and just bleed through art.
All the love,
A frustrated creative
Lorecelle Villaroya is currently studying at La Salle Academy in Mindanao. When she’s not writing or doing schoolwork, she is probably watching Grey’s Anatomy. Again. Lorecelle is one of Team Love Club‘s main characters, and a hero to her own epic story, too! She’s also a concerned mamamayan and you can read her article on why you should vote in halalan 2022.