Question for you:
Does your creative mojo outpace the fierce fandom and regular (and loyal) usage of social media?
[Social media being: blogging, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Deviant Art, etc.]
|My creative mojo used to be much like this plain black canvas largely because of the influence and impact of social media.|
I don't remember exactly when it happened but in the last few months I started noticing some things both about social media that I really didn't like because of how it was affecting my life. General things I noticed about it were this:
- It made me lazy in my relationships. This includes both people and "things" (like creative endeavors).
- It made me jaded and easily unimpressed which, in turn, made me passive-aggressive and "judgey" in the way I was thinking or reacting to what I was taking in.
- It made me feel both inspired and inadequate at the same time, which, in turn, made me unnecessarily envious and frustrated with the fact that I couldn't achieve/do/create/design in the same way as someone else.
- It actively contributed to me being inactive - with my body, my mind, and (most importantly) my heart & soul.
Now, I don't bring all of this up to say that social media is bad or that anyone who uses it is bad either. I mean, you are reading the blog that I keep right now and that definitely is something of social media, right? (And I'd like to think that this blog isn't bad otherwise it would have gone the way of Facebook months ago which it didn't do.) My point in bringing this up is to perhaps inspire some internal conversation (in myself as much as for you) about the call we all feel to be creative and create but how it ends up existing dormant inside of us because of the noise and activity of so many other things these days and ultimately? It ends up slowly and painfully shriveling up inside until that feeling starts to suck up the rest of us as well. (So, I am talking about this as it relates to creation and creativity.)
I cannot tell you how many folks I come across on a regular basis - my student artists, my colleagues who are incredible artists outside of the non-art/creative content areas they teach, and fellow artists I meet by way of this blog and just general adventures of real-life - who have been impacted in seriously negative ways much like the ways I shared with you above about how it has impacted me.
Just the other day I had a conversation with an incredibly talented student artist who is just a freshman and has had very little formal training in the way of drawing. It has taken her months to finally bring in her personal portfolio for me to just look at (much less critique) and when she finally did it, I literally had to tell her in a very blatant way, "Do not talk while I am looking at it." Why? Because all of the narration and explanation she was giving me was negative and seriously untrue. This is because (I found out) she spends a ton of time trying to be a part of an online community of artists by the name of Deviant Art and rather than it inspiring her to create, it has only made her feel inadequate, unfairly critical, and incapable of designing or creating anything worthy of anything more than hiding away or discarding.
Now, like I said before, I don't begrudge the many conduits of social media or its vast communities of users. That's not my point in saying all of this. I am only trying to offer a perspective based upon my own personal experience and observations about how it is perhaps doing something to our innate capacities and yearnings to be creative and be creators. As a believer in the gospel, I believe it exists because the Lord (the most supreme creator and intelligent designer in all of existence) created man in His image therefore giving each of us seeds of being visionary like Him and the power to create like Him and this goes for people who are believers and not yet believers of the gospel!
I believe every single one us was created to create! This is why people who will openly profess to not be artists doodle in their folio pads during conferences/class instructional time or play with office supplies at their desks when they should otherwise be doing work. Creativity and creation is inside of us and it simply needs to be roused awake and then fed and cared for so it can thrive. But when you introduce social media into the equation? Well, that kind of media ends up pushing out and ultimately eliminating other kinds of media from our otherwise creative and creating selves. The unfortunate thing is that it happens in such a way that we are far from being keenly aware of it because it convinces us that it's not so bad and then it starts seeping into and all over parts of our life without us until it's everywhere and everything. I mean... I make this sound kind of extreme but it sort of us like that. Harmless at first but can eventually be smothering the way it exists.
Anyway, if you are feeling stifled (or smothered, or wilting, or disintegrating) with your own creative inspirations, efforts, and overall investments, perhaps you are dealing with a similar situation as I was. And if you are? Well... it doesn't have to be that way. It really doesn't have to be that way at all.
ADDENDUM, 12/4/12 => Found THIS via Hongkiat.com during my morning blogrolling. It is so relevant to this topic! It speaks specifically about how to establish and maintain balance between your Online and Offline social lives rather than letting one dominate and replace the other.