creativity freedom

Creativity Freedom: How to Avoid Creativity Killers and Hear Knocks

Today we’re talking about creative freedom. In our work and our art, we want to have the creativity freedom to create, play, and explore new ideas. What’s holding us back and getting between us and that free flow that feels so good?

I was talking to someone recently about the difference between financial security and financial freedom. With security you feel safe, you don’t have to worry. With freedom you feel free, you’re allowed to do things that you might not otherwise be able to do.

Do you see the difference? Because it’s that concept that I’m talking about today. Creative freedom means that we’re allowed to make mistakes, explore crazy possibilities, and try different ways of doing things. That kind of artistic freedom doesn’t just mean that we’re allowed freedom in the details of our creative expression but also that we give ourselves permission to invest in creative activities.

Seeking Creativity Freedom

My problem is not access to creativity and a lack of ideas. No, my problem is that I limit my thinking because I’ve told myself that I’m not allowed to create just because. Artists have the desire to express something that comes from a sense of passion rather than duty.

Unfortunately “duty” gets in the way and limits our artistic freedom. Success, and the definitions our world has given for it, puts limitations on what we’re willing to do. Our society tells us that creativity isn’t just about play but rather that we need to contribute in some significant way.

The interesting thing is that I believe the best way to contribute in the long run is not to focus on a definition of success that society has given us but rather to focus on play, joy, passion, purpose, and ideas. So I’m seeking artistic freedom, not freedom in my art but rather freedom for my art.

freedom to create

Why Freedom is Important for Creative Work

Freedom is important for creative work because we can’t create if we’re afraid to try something new. We can’t create if we’re worried about being correct. And we can’t practice if we’re only worried about winning.

Creation is all about the ability to develop something new and find different ways to look at life. When you express yourself, you’re sharing your ideas and your way of thinking about life. We might all look at the exact same situation but we’ll all see something slightly different and it’s that diversity of ideas that has a lot of potential to benefit life.

If we’re not afraid to be wrong or make mistakes, then we can make creativity a practice. Practice means to get better, develop, discover, and improve. It’s a process and the creative process is a journey that is benefited from freedom.

How Freedom Leads to Creativity

So let’s pretend that we have permission to create and play. We’re children again, you know how children are so creative? It’s because children don’t put limitations on themselves, they choose to see opportunities instead. If we approach a project with our mindset tuned into opportunities, the ideas will flow.

Think about freedom of expression, feeling free to express yourself. When you feel safe in a room full of people who aren’t going o judge you or laugh at you, freedom of expression is easier. Sometimes we talk about dancing like no one is watching.

Artistic freedom is like that too. What if we tapped into our creativity like no one is watching? We’d take our art to a whole other level. Whether your project is writing, painting, photography, or music, imagine what the full expression of your art would look like.

creative freedom

How to Avoid Creativity Killers and Seek Creative Freedom

The trick then is to avoid creativity killers and seek creativity freedom. Photographers, writers, musicians, and artists of all kinds have audiences that we’re trying to please which can either limit or enhance our creativity. Let’s take our cue from children again, if someone isn’t a good audience go find a different one.

Build an audience around your creative passion not a creative passion around your audience.

Next, analyze and become aware of the different forms that your creativity killers appear in. The more you know what prevents you from feeling that artistic freedom, the more you can learn to battle them. For example, if you know that you struggle with time, then block out creative time or if you struggle with comparison then get off social media.

creativity freedom

Answering When Creativity Knocks

The last step to achieving creative freedom is to be ready, and learn to say yes when you have an idea for a project. If the idea isn’t there yet, just start painting and then eventually the practice of painting will bring forth the idea. Again, look at the children in your life, they don’t wait for a fully formed project complete with a financial backer.

OK, I know, the children don’t need a financial backer because that’s what their parents are but professional artists do. Professional artists have to worry about money, what I’m saying is that sure, make sure you’re doing the things you need to do for the money, more on that is this work-life balance article. But then also, make space for self-expression and to celebrate the creative things that you want to do just for you.

Next read about why there’s not another word for creativity.

About the author

I am Brenda Bergreen, one half of a husband and wife photography team specializing in Colorado wedding photography and videography and adventure photography. If you found this helpful, check out this meditation for creativity and other creativity blog posts.

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