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Express Yourself – 5 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Artist

Express Yourself – 5 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Artist

As children, we would dream of drawing, painting, building things from scratch and living the dream with art. It was considered as something majestic and inspiring. Unfortunately, as we grow, this dream of living it up as an artist gets trampled by reality

The older we get, the more we realise that our occupation would have to be something more lucrative and quick to pick up. Art is not necessarily that, since it takes a lot of learning, practicing and overcoming obstacles in order to become even remotely successful; and the financial side of art doesn’t look promising, either.

For that reason, as adults we tend to work in other areas, those that are considered profitable, and, in a way, we put our creative side in the dark. However, no matter how busy we get, and our various obligations, we shouldn’t kill our creativity for the sake of other people and work. We should let it flourish, and enjoy every moment of it. Here is how it can be done, in five different ways to be precise. Some of them may just be hobbies, but they can also turn into jobs.

1. Start doing things

By sitting idly, waiting for things to come to you, you won’t achieve anything. In order to succeed and get the desired results, you will need to put some work into it. For example, if you want to be a painter, graphic designer or similar, start drawing. Buy a notebook and start creating figures, drawings and learn various techniques.

Even if your skill level is not perfect – do it. Fear never helped anyone, and it will only hold you back. Therefore, get down to work, and start creating.

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Moreover, if you like writing, start writing sentences, no matter how random they are. You could start off with a journal, or simply by putting your thoughts on paper. Through time this can evolve into something longer and more complex, like short stories.

Eventually, you can transition into running your own blog. First of all, it is easy to create a blog, even with no real coding knowledge, and can even be successfully monetized – if done right. The best part is that you can write about any subject you want, like fashion, personal stories or comments on life in general.

2. Find inspiration around you

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    One thing that will surely get you started is inspiration. Whatever you want to do, whether it is painting, singing or writing, you will need to start from somewhere, and that point is the small “a-ha!” moment, when the light bulb in your head turns on. To find this stimulus, you can do many things.

    For example, start traveling. Nothing provides more inspiration than discovering the world, with all its many cultures and diverse people. Actually, there is no need to leave your home country; you can also explore your country by going on weekend trips to lakes, mountains or other cities. There are beautiful locations all around you, at every corner.

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    Other than traveling, just enjoy life. Spend time alone, with friends or meet new people. Sharing thoughts with others could give you new insights into their worldviews and ways of thinking. From this, you could create so much, and such gorgeous art. After all, your art is the reflection of your life.

    3. Try something new by attending courses about it

    Have you been interested in something for years, but never had the guts to try it out? Well, now is your time. You can sign up for various classes about cooking, sewing or any other skill you can think of. Whatever it is, it will certainly help with making your creative juices flow.

    For example, you could attend a photography or a writing workshop. No matter if you already possess certain skills, going to these classes could help you learn something new or awaken some old, long-forgotten skills. Moreover, it gives you a nice base to start from as a rejuvenated artist.

    Unless you push towards it, creativity will never come to you. Therefore, do not be afraid to try new things, and learn about the ones you are already familiar with. Who knows, you may find new and better ways of expressing yourself, and starting something fresh.

    4. Start doodling

    Let’s say you want to perfect your drawing skills because you want to become an artist. Well, a good starting point would be to start doodling in your notebook. Actually, you might be already doing this, while waiting for time to pass, talking on the phone or similar situations. The action is oftentimes involuntary, but it can result in some amazing sketches. Not only is it good as a distraction, it is great as a way of improving creativity, and an exercise for artists.

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    Your small drawing could turn into something bigger. Imagine that you doodle the same thing over and over again, every time. Eventually you would become an expert in those particular types drawings, which could then be turned into a profitable business.

    For example, you could be great with typography. You could turn this random doodling into a proper job of designing signs, posters, making invitations or a bunch of other stuff. Not only would it be lucrative, but it would also help you become the artist you’ve always wanted to be.

    5. Read books, listen to music and keep learning

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      Lastly, the oldest and the best ways of finding yourself in the artistic world would have to be these: books, music and education. There is so much information you could gather from there, but you would also become more creative along the way. For instance, reading books leads you to a variety of different worlds, both real and unreal.

      In a way, you live a thousand lives and travel a thousand journeys. From all that, you learn, develop as a person, and develop as an artistic personality. Music has the same effect. Just think about how much you listen to it in your everyday life.

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      Some people cannot go without music, at all. They listen to it while commuting, while working, while sitting at home. Music provides inspiration, and an understanding of emotions. It is a healer and a teacher, at the same time.

      Finally, no matter your age, or how busy you think you are, you should never stop learning. Education is the most important part of your life, and it should always be encouraged. You could read educational books, attend classes – online classes count, as well – go to workshops, get more diplomas, etc.

      The best thing about education is that it can come from any interaction and any action you do. For example, you could learn a new thing just by talking to a friend or a colleague. You could also gain new knowledge by watching documentaries. The point is, knowledge is all around us. All you have to do is be willing to take it for yourself.

      Creativity doesn’t come with birth – it is learned and nurtured, throughout your life. To be an artist takes time, it takes skills and, most importantly, it takes love for what you do. Therefore, if you truly believe in art, pursue it no matter what.

      Forget about the naysayers, and obstacles; they can be surpassed and forgotten about. Move forwards and do what you love. That is all that matters when expressing yourself and becoming an artist.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/markusspiske/ via pexels.com

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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      Last Updated on July 17, 2019

      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

      The Neurology of Ownership

      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

      Reference

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