How To Grow As A Creative
"What is not growing is dead."
I'm not sure who that quote is credited to, but I do know it's the absolute truth. Growth is an essential part of a creative's journey; really, without growth there is no journey. Feeling stagnant is something that happens along every creative's journey (ever heard of a creative rut?), so learning HOW to grow is also important. Below I have 3 tips to help you grow and evolve as a creative:
1. Ask for critique
I know asking for critique can be difficult for some, but it is an essential part of growing. Turn to someone you consider an expert in your field, and ask them to critique for feedback. Helpful critique should not only show you areas where improvement could be me, but it should also encourage you as well.
My favorite way to critique is to called a "critique sandwich". So basically you start off the critique with something positive. The next layer, or the MEAT, of your critique sandwich is where they could improve or letting them know where growth is needed. Lastly, you finish off your critique with something else positive.
Along with asking for critique, providing critique is an awesome way to grow. It helps you to look at photographs that are not your own and provide feedback. It also helps you realize the amount of wisdom you already possess and put into your own photography. So when someone else asks for critique, don't be afraid to jump in and provide some! Just remember your critique sandwiching :)
2. Be Open
Now, when you ask for the critique, an important part of growing from it is this: YOU HAVE TO BE OPEN TO IT. You can't ask for critique and then get defensive when it's given. Or make excuses. Really consider what is being said to you. And realize that critique doesn't mean you aren't a good artist or creator. It just means that's room for improvement. And there is always room for improvement.
Also, realize opinions are subjective. So if you receive a critique and there are only portions of the whole that you feel actually benefit you, take what you need and leave the rest. You don't always have to agree with a critique. But DO allow it to open up your mind to looking at your own work more objectively and recognize how your work can be improved upon.
3. Realize change is necessary
Fully accepting that you are always growing as an artist and that in order to grow change MUST take place is pertinent to your journey. That doesn't mean your style necessarily has to change. Sometimes it's your outlook that changes. Or your viewpoint might change. Or you may learn a technique. Whatever changes occur, welcome them. Because along with change is growth, and that's always the goal, right?
You can use these tips to heart to maximize the growth you see throughout your own process, AND use them to help others grow along their own journeys. Growth is not always comfortable to go through, but it is beautiful to look back and see how and when it's occurred along your journey. Have you been experiencing a period of growth along your own individual journey lately? Can you look back at the person you were a year ago and identify the growth between then and now? If so, leave me a message here or on instagram and tell me about it. I want to hear about your journey.