Episode 430 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — Start Where You Are
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe
In this episode of the CMP, it’s time to dive in, take the plunge, and “do” that thing you are wanting to do, that creative thing you are pining to try, that artistic endeavor that you hold to the side in your heart and think, “someday that will be me.”
Sometimes, when you want to start or try something new, you talk yourself out of it. You talk yourself into waiting because the time isn’t right, you don’t have the perfect pen, the perfect paper, the right size sketchbook. Maybe you can’t afford the premium software you need, or maybe you know that your space isn’t camera-perfect. It’s easy to push off what you want to do because you don’t have “everything” you need or all of the “best” supplies or tools. While there may be certain tools that you really have to have to give something a try, deciding that you can’t do something without the “perfect” this or that is a stalling technique.
You can keep telling yourself that you can’t try this or that because you don’t have all the perfect tools, but in many cases, the reality is that you can start simply. You can start with what you have. You can give whatever it is a shot and see how it goes.
Starting with what you have lets you try on the activity before you invest in it. Will you really like it? Will you really enjoy it? Will you enjoy it enough to do the work it takes to get better, to gain skill, and to get to the level you want? Starting gives you the chance to play, to experiment, to see how it feels without making a huge commitment (of self, time, or money). Trying lets you start rather than wait around for magic to happen.
Make your own magic. Dive in. Do the work.
You might find you love it. Or you might find that you don’t, and that’s good to know. (Maybe you’ll come back around to it later.)
This show is about diving in. Be willing to start simply, humbly, with what you have and with eyes open to the fact that first attempts are just that first attempts. Start with the knowledge that there is a journey from point A to the point you have in your head, the dream. Starting lets you see if you think this is a journey you really want to take. If the spark is there, then maybe you will enjoy number 1, 2, and 3 on your way to number 25, 50, 100, and so on. With every step, you’ll be learning, improving, developing, and getting closer to the creative “you” that you envisioned. And, hey, at some of those milestones, if you really are in it for the journey, then a new tool here and there can be a great way to supplement your setup and reward your perseverance.
New tools are great. But if the only reason you want to start something is to buy new tools, it might not be the right project or it might not really turn out the way you envision in terms of your own enjoyment. And if the only reason you aren’t starting something is because you don’t have all the high-end tools, I hope you’ll stop and consider…. is there a way to simply start with what you have…. and do it?
#IllustrateYourWeek in November and December
Listen to Episode 430
This episode is available in many of your favorite podcast players or via the YouTube video (audio only) below. I hope you will follow (subscribe) at YouTube, too. The video format makes it easy to pull the podcast up here on the site or in your YouTube app.
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
- Notes on large format sketchbooks
- Uni-Gel Alpha Shaker pencil (mine is listed as “slightly firm” – but it’s super cushy; they do come in other softness/hardness ratings. I really do love this shaker!)
- Pentel Hi-Polymer Block Eraser, Large, White (these things disappear like socks; you can never have too many white erasers lying around)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook (what I’m using for regular drawing)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook — the REALLY big one — A3 (11.75″ x 16.5″)
- Platinum Carbon Black ink (what’s in my fountain pen)
- Sktchy app for inspiration photos
- Zebra Fudes (good for filling in)
- Pentel Fudes
- Micron 08 (larger nib good for thicker lines or filling in small-medium spaces)
- Micron 01 (favorite for drawing)
- Micron Sampler
- Patreon page – support the CMP and get access to some special things
- Buy me a Coffee with Ko-Fi
- Start your shopping at Amazon here
- Amazon wishlist
- Start your shopping at Amazon with a CMP link
- Creativity Matters at YouTube (please follow!)
- Creativity Matters Group at Facebook
- oamyoamy at Instagram
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- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Try Trello
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud