NOTES

AUTHENTICALLY CREATIVE

reading time: 15-20 minutes

How does one find their creative path? What steps can we take to be authentic and original in our own creations? Can originality ever be achieved anymore with a market saturated with good ideas and "genius" minds? With the world of Instagram and young minds (maybe sometimes a bit oblivious to the blurred lines of imitation is not inspiration), I think this conversation needs to be talked about.

"Punch above your weight class— try what scares you, write that article or share that video tutorial or take that speaking opportunity. Try the uncomfortable." - Mark Hemeon via Medium

How does one find their creative path

My simple answer to that question is create every day. Not only create everyday, but create something in your life YOU desire to create. This doesn't have to be confined into the art world. Creating means problem solving, putting two and two together, making something you can be proud of. Take your passions and build on them, grow them and look inside yourself first on where to start. 

We want to be creative because being creative gives us such an amazingly interesting life.

This is true, but lets do go about it authentically. Ready for story time?

I painted with my mom growing up and slowed down once I started getting into my teenage years. I started searching for other passions. That's when I became a yoga teacher and was able to create sequences for classes. I made jewelry for fun, which turned into a business, and I created solutions. I liked to problem solve, so for me that was getting creative in my head. Going into college I knew I didn't stand a chance in any other department other than art. I am not very good at the base subjects (Math, English, writing, history, science), they just don't work in my mind for some reason. So I did the art program. I did it without any boundaries. I didn't go into my major thinking I would become some web designer or typeface creator. I didn't even promise myself I would find a career in what I was about to study. I tried anything and everything my school offered. It just felt good to create everyday. I would get OBSESSED with a project but after a while the love for it would go away. So I would move onto the next thing. And so it goes, week after week, project after project. I knew I wasn't getting closer to some lifelong career, but at least I was creating everyday. I would spend days finishing a project that would only take my peers a couple hours to do. I wanted to add onto it, change the rules, make it mine. Make it original. And I did this all for myself, meaning: I didn't complete the project for my teacher, or to get a good grade or to impress anyone else; but to prove to myself I could do it. Without this I wouldn't have found my love for video/resin art. I opened my mind to a thousand possibilities, I dreamed big. I DREAM big. And I would say I'm not done yet. I'm always experimenting/testing the waters, trying things that are new and changing the rules to fit my world. Okay okay, I found my creative realm, but what I have I learned and how can you find your creative path?

We should be seeking this creativity for ourselves and NO ONE ELSE.

I repeat, step one to finding your authentic creative voice in this world is stepping into your own reality. The reality you live when all screens are off and seeking it from life experiences happening all around you everyday. For me, my life off social media is surfing, droning the ocean, yoga and human connection. These things are what inspires me to create every day. For someone else it might be thier lover who is their muse, the mountains, the mundane events that go on in their own life. Ask yourself, what inspires me. Like truly inspires me to wake up and smell the roses?

Step two to finding your creativity: this happens after you have comfortably found what you love with no boundaries or rules or someone to impress.

Look to others work/work ethic once you've found inspiration in everything else around you. I have difficulty typing this because I agree with this most of the way. {I don't believe if you are looking to design a movie poster to copy someone else's work and then claim you thought it up yourself. No. Imitation cannot take shape when you are trying to find your own authentic creative voice.} You take that movie poster, tear it apart, twist it, conceal the parts that don't work and shape it to make a brand new poster that is so far from the original it can become yours. This was something taught to me in college, and it works for those who have no direction. I had no clue what I wanted to do in life (and I still don't), but we were told to copy works and make them our own for projects. This motivated me to change the rules a bit and to design how I could without imitating. I would never release them to the public claiming they were my ideas, no that would be stealing from the artist that thought up that design. 

Let us find our authentic voice and stay true to ourselves in all the media around us.

We all look to Pinterest or Tumblr or Instagram for inspiration, but some of us find something on there and copy it to the letter. There are some amazing artists out there that have put out amazing artwork. But they worked hard to produce that one photo/painting/sculpture ect. How will you ever feel genuinely yourself as a maker in this world if all your ideas are taken? As a painter I look to a woodworker artist as my inspiration. I don't ever actually use any part of her art to be shown in mine. I look at the artist and see the qualities she has and the hard work she puts into her art and that inspires me to keep working at mine. Influence is all around us, but let us find our own originality in your perfect creativity.

Step three & FOUR: become an expert & BE READY TO FAIL.

You may become an expert quickly or it may take years and years. I am in no way an expert in resin, but I have learned many ins and outs to it. I have failed (gotten back up), torn apart pieces, taken criticism for my art, spent thousands of dollars just honing my craft. I knew this would happen to become an expert in my craft, but I also knew resin made me the happiest person, so it was a worthy sacrifice. A welcomed sacrifice I would say.

 If you want to claim yourself to be a graphic designer, web designer, painter, ceramics, builder of homes...know your stuff. I only started referring to myself as an "artist" a little bit ago. It was really hard for me to say that word because I didn't feel qualified. I would fight with my loved ones that I wasn't yet an artist. And maybe I was but I want to feel perfectly comfortable saying I was once I could kinda hone my craft. I will always be honing/shaping/progressing my craft, but my creativity didn't take form until I had faith in it. Once I started feeling confident I could honestly say I was a painter. Others may disagree and I would still call everyone an artist in one shape or form. But do your creativity a favor and give it room to grow before putting yourself into a box. Call yourself anything and everything you want as long as YOU feel comfortable doing that. That will save some internal struggling with yourself while also letting your creativity flourish without any limits you place on yourself.

This brings me to my next topic: how can we be original and authentic once we figure out our style of creativity?  

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." - Herman Melville

In today's world, we see ideas being recycled, revamped and sometimes even done better. Maybe nothing is original anymore, but I'm going to argue that originality is still out there. If you are not actively trying to find works to imitate or artists to piggyback off of, I promise you your artwork will be original. If it's an idea or a problem you solved and haven't seen it before (if it has never entered your mind) and you are creating it, you my friend are being original. And guess what, that idea you think you came up with? It may have already been done before, but if you found your way to that idea without "piggybacking" on another artist's idea, well I would say that is one form of originality. I would argue: honesty with yourself and your creativity is clear-consciously authentic! 

Now for the meaning of authentic. 

With the rise of social media, our lives are curated now, for better or for worse. We allow people to see only what we want them to see. When I first started my instagram in 2012, I made myself promise that I would never say or post something that didn't feel like it was coming from 100% Bree. What's the fun in that? I would hate to act like I'm someone I'm not, then be held accountable for that fake person somewhere down the line. But if you are actively staying true and honest to yourself, I promise you will never have to feel the weight of deceiving people.

I've seen this first hand with people in my life feeling like they have to be a certain way in real life because that's what they made their life look like on instagram. They struggle with it, and they struggle with not being comfortable in their own skin. And no one should put themselves through that. So make a promise to curate your life authentically, be true to yourself always and listen to what your heart is saying you should do creatively. Saying that, every once in a while ask yourself are you making this creation for the sole purpose of posting it for likes and comments? Do you, yourself love the artwork you created? There are many times I love something so much I don't post it right away or even at all. Maybe there is a piece I don't feel needs attention right away. Do what feels right to you on and off the little screen & dont let the pressure of impressing others make you do something unauthentic. 

DONT LIE OR HIDE WHERE YOU GOT YOUR INSPIRATION FROM

I would hate it if I started my resin work with other resin artists work already in my head. That is just how my mind works, I'll go into detail why below. Maybe some argue the other side saying resin artist are what inspired them to start in the first place. And honestly if that's what works for you, do it. But make sure you credit your source of inspiration.

My favorite thing to see is when a photographer posts a creatively done photo and credits the photographer who originally composed that or where they got their inspiration from to make that photo.

Why don't I want other resin artist's art in my mind? For myself it would taint my original ideas and I wouldn't feel a grasp on what's mine and what's theirs. I let myself get to a point where I felt comfortable and in my own style to then finally look at other resin artist out of awe and respect, but never to copy their designs. To me I am being authentic to myself while also respecting their work and ensuring I would never copy them. 


"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." - Charles Caleb Colton

We've all heard this quote, and I cant agree to it BUT I see why it could be viewed as a compliment. Below I tell my story to help you understand my point of view on the subject.

Some artists I know have had this problem: they feel like they put their artwork out there, and then someone comes and swoops it into their own nest. Then guess what happens if you are insecure about your artwork, you stop creating. And what's the fun in that? Two or five years down the line I would be asking myself what would have happened if I just kept doing my thing while this other person did theirs? So never stop your craft because you feel someone is copying you or scooped up your idea.

For example: I had a friend who started water photography for couples in her dreamy/lovey way of editing. It was beautiful! And yes, I had seen this couple water photography time and time again before she started it, but she did it in a way I had never ever seen. It was so full of emotion and just beautiful. She broke some rules and made it fit her style of art. I am speaking in past tense...because two weeks into opening these photos to the public, friends and acquaintances started their couples water sessions. Imitating to the point where I had to question, "Is this my friends photos?" A girl was featured for her water/couple photos in a huge magazine that was seen by a lot of people and she was claiming the idea was hers only. Needless to say, this friend of mine stopped altogether with her water photos. And what fun is that? What a shame we will never see what she could have created, but I understand this pain to the point where we neglect our art, the motivation is gone because it doesn't feel ours anymore. I have creative friends who have told me their versions of this happenstance. It's sad and needs to be addressed.

When I started my art form I did it without seeing any other resin artists. Little did I know resin art was live and well years before I picked up a can of resin. I started my way of resin art/designs/ideas solely inspired by nature and the views of the ocean from above. I did it without seeking youtube videos of others mostly because I wanted to experiment without filling my head with ideas/designs from others. I did it without looking at another resin artist and thinking "I can do that...I want to try that because I see they can make a lot of money...that looks easy I'll give it a go, and hey if I like it I'm gonna sell it." Or "hmmm this resin art is pretty and I should do it for a living". I didn't start it for the business aspect of it, I did it for the sole LOVE of the art. 

I actually have and probably never will follow a resin artist on instagram. I value and respect and understand there are resin artists out there that have similar work as me and have been doing it for several years and started before me, but I don't want them to ever look at my work and think I copied them. I keep their work out of my head to ensure I will never imitate their works of art. I do this to respect other resin artists but also to keep my inspiration solely coming from the feelings and emotions nature instills in me everyday. I wish all people would do this but with social media that can be easier said than done for a lot of people. Some people are desperate to find something creative and interesting they turn to social media to find that instead of looking at their current life lived off the screen. 

"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way" -Edward de Bono

This quote speaks to me. I have found an artform that truly speaks to me to the point of obsession. This obsession was positive for a while. And I am going to be honest here, this obsession turned sour because I found people copying designs and ideas of mine I worked so hard to achieve. I won't complain to much about this but it needs to be said. When I find someone imitating me exact art after they just started following me, it pains me. To a point of mental instability on my part. This is for a whole different conversation, but artists can suffer from depression and anxiety when it comes to their work being copied. 

I know this world is big enough for resin artists. I'm not saying people shouldn't do resin art. I know most of this is on my own mind and I should control these feelings or not feel them at all, but I DO! It makes me feel constrained in ways. For example I would LOVE to post more process videos of my art because that is a huge part of my art. I want to let people see it because it is so peaceful to watch, but the other half of me is saying, "dont post this process video because then 3 more people will come out of the woodwork copying you, and you will get bummed Bree. They wont source their inspiration for starting this love of resin".

I actually would love more people to do resin art! I can't wait until I own a studio and to do resin art classes (this summer in OC classes will start so stay tuned). But for a "resin artist" to start selling their artwork in a fashion that is a complete imitation of mine is an insult, not a compliment. There are a couple way I can remedy this issue in my own mind. 1) I can stop putting my art out there publicly to insure future designs wont ever be stolen...But that is just a sad way to live. We put our art out there to share with the world, to bring others happiness. 2) I can ask people who do copy to credit where they found their inspiration. How hard is it for people who start resin ocean work (who initially were inspired by me) to say "Hey look! I just found this love for resin ocean art by this artist @Justbree"

I have spoken to other creatives and this is something they wish could be done for them also. We put so much love, sweat, tears, money, and time into our work. It feels devalued when imitated.

I work hard and long hours to find the designs and techniques I do for my art. So when it is copied I get sad. Thats the fact of the matter. But if someone, anyone were to say where their inspiration originated from it would be not only be appreciated, but it would be RESPECTED. 

So thank you for reading my thoughts, this post has been a long time coming. I would love to know your thoughts and please remember, my love for someone doesn't stop just because they are considered "imitators". It is just the young creative trying to find their voice in the world. But please, find your creativity authentically. Not only will you feel better about yourself as an artist because you own that idea, but people can see where you are being authentic. We notice where true passions lie outside the realm of "making money". Maybe getting this off my chest will finally allow me to feel okay about posting process videos.

Bree Poort4 Comments