Hi everybody, how are you doing this week? Did any of you dare venture out more at the weekend? I haven’t yet, as I’m not allowed back in shops until 1st August, but also I don’t think it’s going to be the joyful experience I usually associate with my slight addiction to shopping so I think I‘d rather wait until it feels a bit more normal.
So, this week, I purposely waited to see how my second Live session on ‘Gaining Creative Confidence’ for @psychologiesmagazine went today to see what was coming up for people and also to talk a little about new guiding words for the rest of the year, and strangely they very much link together…let me explain.
As you know every year I talk about setting a guiding word in January to help you focus every now and again on areas where you may want to make a difference in your life, whether that’s linked to creative projects, your work or simply family life.
A few posts back I talked about having a celebration meeting with yourself, all about how far you’ve come in the first half of the year and within that asking if the word you may have chosen at the beginning of the year was still serving you, considering all what has gone on in what has been a momentous year.
I’ve decided my words (naughty I chose 3), Rise, Re-energise and Surprise, have been really useful so far, especially ‘Surprise’ in regard to the new things I’ve tried and where I am heading, but now I’m ready for a new, harder-working one.
The word I’ve chosen is TRUST, and this is coming up for me in a number of ways but what really sold it to me was an email that Suzy Walker, Editor-in-Chief at Psychologies sent to me. I’d sent her an email prior to hers, explaining when I could start doing the Instagram lives after I got my latest scan results and finished it by saying ‘would you like me to send you a rough draft of the things I’ll be talking about in the Insta Lives each week?’
Given that we’d only spoken twice verbally before this, I thought it was only polite as I would be transmitting from their brand but also I realise in hindsight it was also because I always feel eternally grateful for these opportunities and if I’m honest, a little like I am not worthy.
I’ve been a subscriber of Psychologies magazine for years, maybe this is why I’m a little in awe and very happy to be working with them!
This is partly because the others who have done lives on there are what I call ‘genuine experts’, Lucy Atkins for example who has done the same as me with tips and guidance around writing a novel on a Friday live, is a best-selling Author, speaks eloquently and teaches an MA in Writing at Oxford University….so you see what I mean?! Huge comparisonitis right there!
So, what did Suzy send me back? She said, ‘I don’t need to know your plan – I trust you completely!’
I can’t tell you what that sentence meant to me, to have someone of her stature and experience, who I respect immensely, saying that to me was worth it’s weight in gold and a massive boost to my self-belief.
Now when I think of the word ‘Trust’ it reminds me of that sentence and it will remind me to trust in myself, trust that I can do it, even if it’s new and challenging and slightly scary, I will always find a way.
It may not be perfect, I may stumble on my words sometimes, but it will always be authentic and real. That is my USP and I need to trust in that itself!
Trust means other things to me too, which is always a good sign of a chosen guiding word, when you can apply it to multiple aspects of your life. So, these are some other ways in which it links:
And this brings me on to the title of this Blog and what has come up in the lives. That is to trust in your talent or ‘To be’ talents.
When you look up the definition of talent it is this:
However, I am going to be controversial and disagree with this slightly, because if you’ve never tried to do something how do you know if you are innately good at it or not? Yes, you may have some natural ability in there, but it’s no good if it’s never been drawn out or discovered!
I also think you may have some base innate skill, but that’s not to say other elements of that can’t then be taught. For example, you may be good at art generally, in the most basic sense, say drawing, but until you either really experiment yourself, or follow a demo or go to a workshop, how will you know if you are any good at other interpretations of art such as watercolour painting, jewellery making, working with pastels or embroidery, to name just a small few?
I may not be the best photographer in the world, but I have an innate skill of observation, I’ve refined that through photography, noticing the details and the little things, for eg spot the little bug in these pictures, and the spider in the main pic was found once I’d zoomed in and looked closer at the image I’d taken of a patch of flowering mint
So, because of this I want to redefine the word talent, as I think it can be off-putting, being British especially, we rarely shout about our talents, believing that to be too showy, we prefer to be more self-depreciating, maybe saying you are an ‘ok Artist’ or not even daring to call yourself that, maybe saying instead ‘I enjoy doing a bit of art’.
So, how about we acknowledge what our talents are, believe in them and be proud, and for the ones we are practicing and still learning about, call them our ‘to be talents’, understanding that many can be learned and that of course we can improve and grow, and that’s just part of the creative process?
My son’s artwork this week, prompted by his teacher’s challenge and me having a go at my own prompt from this week’s Live challenge, based around my favourite creative quote from Elizabeth Gilbert, below…
This quote means so much me, the courage to take those steps is everything and the reward is a truly enriched life
My point is don’t put a limit on your talents, don’t pigeon-hole yourself into being just one thing, who knows what other talents we may have if we don’t go looking for them?
Yes there will be the odd one we will just never get on with, crocheting is my particular nemesis but I bet there are a whole load more that you can add to your talent list if you give yourself the opportunity to try. That is a valuable gift you can give to yourself.
And now back to the lives, I’m thrilled that people have started to tentatively share their work with me, linked to the challenges. I’ve received some poems and artwork that are amazing and I’m so happy that you are sending them to me.
Some of my viewer’s wonderful work from the prompt of ‘tree stories’ from the 1st session
Interestingly though, sometimes the people sending me their work are a little shy of sharing them themselves but when I’ve asked if I can, they’ve agreed, purely because they have put their trust in me as someone who will encourage them, believe in their work and understand how hard it is when you start out to put your creative baby out there, into the world.
BUT as I always say, everyone starts at the beginning, no-one starts out a Lucy Atkins or Picasso and the beauty of sharing is that then creativity becomes contagious, because if someone sees you having a go, then you might just pass on that curiosity and courage to someone else, who will then have a go too and then the creative baton is passed on and on and on and my work here is done, haha!
No seriously, nothing feels better than seeing this happening before my eyes so please if you would like some creative prompts, come join us on the lives, @psychologiesmagazine, every Monday at 1.30pm, because Trust me (see what I did there!) there are creative skills hiding inside you that you don’t even know you have, yet.
And, if you’re wanting any further inspiration this week, I highly recommend listening to 2 of my favourite inspirational women out there, Fearne Cotton interviewing the other, Holly Tucker, on this week’s Happy Place podcast.
Holly (my idol) always talks about finding that rough diamond within ourselves and polishing it until is shines bright….I couldn’t agree more.
Until next time…
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
P.s Holmfirth Art week is still going on, all be it virtually via an Instagram challenge, see below for details if you’d like to work on some prompts this week.