I have to admit, it’s been a long time since I last sat down and allowed myself to create freely. Something about creating without a purpose has always felt wasteful and not allowed in my mind. I could flex my creative muscles if it were for a blog post or to go with a letter I was mailing to a friend, but to create for just the sake of creating? Well, that mostly hasn’t been the case for me since high school. (And believe me kids, that was a long, long time ago.)
The only exception has always been during my depressive episodes in which I turn towards creating to escape the thoughts of my racing brain. I find it’s one of the few things in life that absorbs me fully and brings me a sense of peace (which actually seems a bit counter-intuitive as a perfectionist who can always find something to hate in everything I do).
With my last fall into that dark world, I finally realized that my creating doesn’t have to be limited to bad times. If it helps me when I’m feeling down, surely it can make me feel even better when I’m feeling up. And so, over the last few months, I have created regularly again, without a reason, and it feels great.
Below you will find the doodles of November and December in which I started allowing myself to create again for fun. I’d say my main purpose those first few months, apart from accepting my wish to create, was to start searching for a style. Using photographs of models from Vogue magazines to reference for my drawings (credited as available below), I focused more on determining what I liked/didn’t like when illustrating women than creating something original.
So, if you’re interested, please join me in checking out my first attempts at creating again, reasons be damned.
Let me know what you think! Have any thoughts or advice on the illustrations above? Any comments on my “style”? And what do you think about creating without a purpose? Do you ever struggle to allow yourself to create just for fun? If so, I challenge you to tell me what creative activity you’re going to allow yourself to enjoy this week, and do it! Hopefully you’ll find it as rewarding as I do.