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Protect Yourself on the Creative Path

At DesignGood, we’re huge fans of Reggie Black, and we had the honor of interviewing him for our blog. Reggie is known for the Sticky Inspiration project. He writes original messages of encouragement, creativity and love on Post-it notes and shares them with the world. (This quick video gives a great introduction to what he does.) Reggie is one of the sweetest people we know and an all-around inspiration. That’s why we asked him to share some of what he’s learned on his own creative journey with us in this Design Your Life feature. 

Walk into your favorite bookstore, report to the Business or Self-Help section and scan the titles and summaries of the books. You will notice that a vast majority are designed to tell a similar narrative. Every author has waited until “they have made it” to tell a story about what it is like to be in the position they currently possess, or they give a very watered- down version of what the process was like to reach the level of “success” that they have acquired. No one takes the time to talk to the millions of artists, designers, entrepreneurs, dreamers and social entrepreneurs worldwide about the process in real-time. Emotional stability is a topic we often overlook.

When the rooms clear, the emails stop coming in and social media notifications end, all you will have is you. Protect YOU.

There is this misconception that artists have it all together. Our social media feeds, websites, references and portfolios all seem to add an extra layer of protection to the reality that we all go through during our artistic journey. None of us have it figured out; it’s a process of connecting the dots one step at a time.

If you have stepped up and placed your life on the line to defend whatever art you are sharing with the world, congratulations! If you are considering sharing your gift to the world, join us! There is room for everyone. Before you take the leap, understand what’s at stake.

The price is extremely high. Freedom is expensive; no discounts are allowed. The creative journey is going to attack your conscious on a daily basis. You are going to consider the safety net often. The income will not add up most of the time on your way to where you want to go. You will begin to doubt yourself, start comparing yourself with others around you and become discouraged. You will immediately become familiar with the ebbs and flows of the journey. It’s a very lonely path, and although you may have people who support you, everyone will not understand what you are going through. Do not allow fear to suffocate your passion. Protect your mental capacity by understanding your purpose and that what you have to create is important.

Allow yourself to be an introvert and extrovert. Society seems to adhere to labels and titles more than they are needed. Titles require you to pick a side and stay there. That’s completely unfair to the creative process and your mind. Your mind needs a vacation. The artist inside of you needs to be alone sometimes. The market, your peers, and the world will apply tons of pressure on you that can hinder your creative process. As creatives, we consistently give so much of ourselves to the world; our art requires us to be extroverts. However, in order to constantly bring more art to the world we need periods where we can be introverts unapologetically. We replenish our creativity through silence. Move from the crowd. Eliminate the noise. “Out of service” is the best function sometimes.

When the rooms clear, the emails stop coming in and social media notifications end, all you will have is you. Protect YOU.

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