On how to get started, how to discover your style, the balance between allowing other artists to fuel your work and offering something unique
It's about being authentic to yourself and your works.
I started out with introductions and asking the participants what inspires them. Then, I gave out a prepared guide for everyone so that they can follow me as I talked about my topic: seeking inspiration and discovering one's style by being authentic to yourself and your works. (You can find and download my guide at the footer of this post.)
My talk also called for an activity I'd like to call, The Inspiration Map, wherein one will make a diagram out of the things that inspire you and connect it back to yourself. I also showcased my sketchbooks to everyone and concluded my part by recommending reads and podcasts for fueling their creative inspiration.
On what to do when you can't finish what you started, how to deal with self-doubt and criticism, changing direction or revamping your creative self.
The first person you need to please is yourself.
Reese highlighted and openly discussed a lot of great pointers about creative block and how you can overcome them by sharing her personal experiences, a lot of which I related to. On self-doubt and criticism: she points out that it's human nature to compare and in order for us to overcome this we need to be confident about ourselves.
Practice Makes Perfect
On how to constantly improve and sharpen your creativity
Create with a purpose to inspire.
Marla opened up the floor by sharing a little background of In Case You Come Back and how the three of us came together to create it. She then dived into her topic and talked about improving your craft and sharpening your skills. Along the way, she also read one of her poems from her recent TEDx Talk which captivated everyone. In conclusion to her talk, she listed down an acronym which guided her topic by using In Case You Come Back (ICYCB):
Inspire. Inspire others through your works.
Curate. Keep creating and honing you craft.
Yes. Say yes to opportunities.
Consume. Be a sponge: read, study, listen and observe anything and everything.
Bend. Push your boundaries.
At the end of the session, Marla gave the group a take-home activity of blackout poetry on their favorite pieces, either from In Case You Come Back or some other poems, to share with us via social media. As the talk drew to a close, we made way for some Q&A (centered on poetry and creative advice) and wrapped it up with the book signing and photos.
Despite it being casual, I have this obsessive drive to be overly prepared. While Marla and Reese can make do with an impromptu talk, I, on the other hand, could never do that. (I would be a stuttering mess if I do!) They're both more adept at speaking in front of an audience than I am and I admire them both greatly for it.
That being said, I'm immensely grateful for this opportunity that pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to build the confidence of speaking in front of people, no matter how small the gathering is. It was lovely meeting these like-minded individuals. Hearing their stories, their passions and what inspires them gives me a different perspective and in turn, inspires me as well. Seeing how unique every single one of us is a real wonder to me.
We are all amazing human beings, you and I.
For the guide I made for Creative Conversations: you can view and download the PDF here.
If you are up for doing the activity indicated in my guide, feel free to tag us and share it online using the hashtags #CreativeConversations and #InCaseYouComeBack.