Discovering and Recovering your Creative Self

There is an artist in all of us. I met a lot of people in the corporate world who wished they could pursue their artistic inclination like painting, acting, making music and dancing, but don’t know where to start because they are stuck in a vicious cycle. These people are rich and empty as well.

I am in a process of recovering my creative self and I would like to share with you how it is working for me so far.

Twenty five years ago, I was searching for my identity. I was already a CPA back then, and working in one of the prestigious Auditing firms in the country. But something was missing. I was not creating. I remember during my childhood days, I love drawing and doing artworks. I used to win poster making contests in the schools I attended. It was not big a deal but I remember every time I draw or paint, I felt so aligned with the cosmos.

So I took up Advertising Arts at UST to pursue my dream as an artist. Aside from dreaming to be a painter and a designer, I also wanted to be a writer. One of the first books I bought, which was recommended by my brother Rommel was the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a book about discovering and recovering your creative self. It is also a 12 week program that gives you specific activities every week. It has helped thousands of people who became novelists, painters, scriptwriters and more. I can’t remember anymore if I finished the program but I remember that I started writing my Morning Pages. Morning Pages is a 3 page of non stop, no editing writing. Whatever comes to your mind you write it. For a time I religiously did my Morning Pages, filling out notebook after notebook after notebook. Then I stopped. Got busy with work and with a lot of things. The dream of becoming an artist and a writer got lost in the daily grind.

Two weeks ago, I attended a Writing Workshop organized by the people of Kerygma Books. It was their first time to organize such an event. Thank God for that. One of the speakers, Karren Renz Seña, author of the Lost Chronicles of Eden: Champions, recommended that we should do the Morning Pages.

So here I am, after 25 years, bought the book again and restarted my Morning Pages. And what a joy it has been to write and allow those thoughts to flow freely into my notebook.

This week is about recovering a sense of safety. One of the activities I need to do is to list down old enemies of my creative self-worth, people who served as building blocks, people who gave negative beliefs that I am not a good artist. You know what, I can’t think of any. Thank God no one really told me I was a bad artist or a bad writer. A lot of people told me I’m a bad photographer but that’s another story. But for visual arts and writing, nobody. If you happen to have people who bombard you with negative beliefs, just remember those are just their beliefs, not facts. In your pursuit of discovering or recovering your creative self, you should PURSUE PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Julia Cameron suggests that we should be willing to be bad artists, and with constant progress, someday we will become great.

In my case, I was blessed not to have old enemies. So what was my building block. My building block was myself. I did not believe in myself enough. I needed affirmations.

Another activity that I need to do is to look and write AFFIRMATIONS. I have a little reminder in my desk that I read everyday. One of the statements I wrote is that I always believe I am a great artist. Lately, I took out the first plate I did during my Advertising days and it wasn’t bad for a beginner. By the way, I got a grade of 1.0 for this plate. I suggest you write down your affirmations and post it somewhere that you can read everyday.

If you have a dilemma like mine, surround yourself with affirmations. This plate of mine is placed on top of my home desk to remind me that I am capable of doing creative work. If I did it before, I can certainly do it again.

The last thing I want to share with you today and the most important is MAKE TIME. If you don’t make time, nothing happens. Your life will be full of what-ifs and could have beens. Stop making excuses. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series when she was rearing a child single-handedly, living on food stamps and with no support at all. I now allot three hours of my time, every morning in doing the things I need to do to become a good artist.

Now is the time to discover the artist in you. If you have dabbled into arts before like me and somehow lost it, no matter what age or state you are in, it is not too late to recover it.

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