Be More With Less


My mom sat us down and placed a sheet with a black and white outline of Santa Claus and his reindeer's in front of us.  It was Christmas time and she had picked up the page from the local department store (or BX for those who are familiar with the military) to enter us into a coloring contest where we would be competing with kids within our age group.  I used coloring pencils with a fading technique--a trick I learned from my big brother.  I chose colors that I knew were not representative of Christmas--but I did it anyway.  I even incorporated my own characters into the background and I'm pretty sure it had absolutely nothing to do with Santa Claus or the holiday's even--but I did it anyway.  It was a freewheeling process and I never once second-guessed my work.  My brother ended up getting first-place in his age group.  He was always a better artist than me.  I don't think I won but I'll never forget, my hands on my hips, staring at the completed product with self-fulfillment and in complete euphoria.

Somewhere in my adulthood, creativity became less of a freewheeling process and more of a roadblock.  I looked around me and saw artists thriving in their business.  They created and cultivated beautiful images with their fancy equipment--equipment that would cost me an arm-and-a-leg.  These creatives had the support from well-known artists and I watched in awe as they uplifted each other into internet stardom.  How lucky they are to have each other, I would enviously say to myself.  I compared myself to other creatives and their successes crippled me.  I knew I didn't have the right tools, the fancy equipment, or supportive network they had.  I drowned my creative processes with self-doubt and fear, and at the time, used my full-time military career as an excuse for my lack of creativity. 

But then it hit me.  Those creative artists flourishing and creating a name for themselves in the industry?  They too had less but continuously and persistently did and do more.  I didn't have the money nor did I have the connections but the scarcity of these resources inspired and ignited my creative thoughts.  Since this realization, I utilize what I do have to put my creativity into practice and produce work that I'm proud to call my own.  I've also learned that no single act will uncover more creative genius than forcing to create consistently yourself.  Some days are easy, other days are rough.  But I'm learning that the only limitations we place on our potential + creativity are the limitations we create ourselves. 

Also, I found this on the web and got a good chuckle because of its accuracy, so I felt the need to share:

1) This is awesome
2) This is tricky
3) This is shit
4) I am shit
5) This might be okay
6) This is awesome

Thanks for reading!

Hannah Q.