From robotics to building businesses, our readerships are experts in fostering creativity in the greater community. Another shared trait? Its leaders #NeverStopLearning
Part of bringing best practices back to the artist-maker hive is to complete field studies as an apprentice every season. Further reading? Try SmartyFella Thomas Davenport & SmartyGirl Julia Kirby’s “Beyond Automation” in this month’s Harvard Business Review.
This season? Our Editor-in-Chief Renee is an apprentice at The Children’s Creativity Museum of San Francisco: where arts and tech are friends.
What does that mean for readers?
Upcoming behind-the-scenes videos with thought starters how to foster greater creativity and productivity in your shared or solo workspace!
In that same spirit, our staff pursues Creatives around the country and around the world for self-care tips to nourish the inventor. Below is a co-written blog post by our Editor-in-Chief Renee and our newest ally Cierra.
I met another SmartyGirl. Cierra, Creator of the blog Ditching Adulthood, wrote as a guest for Jamie of Black Girl Nerds recently. I liked her Artist’s Way spirit so I asked her to meet me via webcam for a self care educational report.
- Treat yourself to a healthy escape for inspiration.
- Avoid consuming the creativity of others to the point where you forget to produce your own.
- Resist negative pressure to conform, even from those who offer that unsolicited advice from a place of love.
Cierra often battles the negative perception of seeming idle when she watches YouTubers, and browses Tumblr. People around her ask why the recent college graduate doesn’t jump directly into graduate school. Cierra is choosing to believe in her artistic self and giving full-time blogging her commitment before pursuing more education. Viewing the work of other Creatives inspires her own work. Consuming helps her produce. In moderation, this consumption of media is healthy and prompts her to create. How? She evaluates what she consumes, she adds to the conversation, and she takes her own spin on themes. She tries to filter how much, and what she takes in on a daily basis. By deleting the Facebook app, limiting how many Bloglovin’ posts she reads at a time, and monitoring how long she’ll scroll through Instagram (if she decides to check it that day), she has worked on becoming more aware of the fine line between mindless consumption and inspiration.
It’s tempting to lose yourself as an artist viewing the work of others. Cues to excess consumption might include creeping self doubt or a sense of complacency due to subconscious comparisons. In other words, stop watching, and start exploring and creating when you feel intimidated, outmatched, or somehow “less than.” That’s disciplining your mindset to stay positive. For example, listen to music or read posts that inspire you. If viewing becomes mindless, stop before your mood becomes negative and prevents you from contributing. Do you. Don’t get lost hoping to imitate or vicariously live through someone else.
People who don’t get what makes you happy might speak from a loving place. But they don’t know what is good for you. Their advice might be what was good for them in a different era, under different circumstances and with different life goals in mind. Negative pressure to drop your unconventional interests and second guess your feelings can come from people who love you and even nurtured you in a past season. Practice standing firm while being equally loving in your tone that this pursuit makes you happy, and makes progress towards your objectives. Behavior can’t and shouldn’t please everyone. Discomfort with your artist life is something that others might have to accept without you leading as their therapist. After all, you’ve got creating to do. Time can’t be spent justifying why you enjoy what you do.
More about Cierra’s blog
How did it get its name, Ditching Adulthood?
Sure, adulthood can mean bills and other suckiness, but it doesn’t have to mean forfeiting all the happy feelings, and joyfully unconventional interests you had before. The name of my blog shows my positive attitude: if adulthood is defined only as embracing all that sucks and conceding to a life of conformity, then I choose to ditch growing up.
In contrast, I believe childlike interests that are healthy, harms no one, and creates happiness for yourself and others is not the opposite of maturing. I am offering an alternative: maintain that childlike sense of bold creativity, wonder, and willingness to embrace your unconventional interests. Cling on to what you’d like to do with your life, and even if it’s not clear what you want to do? Treat yourself and take care of yourself however you can through the adversity and stressors adulthood can bring. I plan for my blog to be a support system and escape for adults who’ve “let down” family and friends by not becoming a doctor or lawyer, or have pursued other loves that some don’t understand. I want my space to become a safe haven for adults who have been told to “grow up” from the cartoons they watch, or interests they have, or to make more “mature” clothing, hairstyle, etc., choices.
Where do you go for quiet?
Currently, Cierra is surrounded by movement, chatter, and energy almost 24/7. Her quiet places come in the small windows where everyone is asleep, and when she can slip away for a bath. Any other time she’ll attempt to zone-out by watching or reading something inspiring that’ll help her produce new writings for her blog or journal. She took the video call from a lovely teal/sea-foam room decorated with warm family photos on the wall of a basement in the Midwest. Since it was near 4 P.M. and the pinnacle of activity in the lovely home, she assisted her mother with a few to-dos and gave herself permission to brainstorm with fellow Creatives at SmartyGirlLeadership for self-care tips this season.
Currently Cierra has many ideas in mind such as a fiction novel, more art, and merch for The Ditching Adulthood blog. SGL is keen on being the first to ordering branded t-shirts when they become available. SmartyGirl Cierra says, “Time to get my head out of the clouds and put some action to my dreams!” Follow Cierra on Twitter @ditchadulthood.