Do you still enjoy the creative process, or is the excitement draining out of your art? Let’s take it a step farther. Are you an artist who feels that you must constantly suffer for your work?
The art world seems to have this fascination with people’s pain — particularly artists’. The whole process gets a bit draining after a while, don’t you think?
What if it were possible to have fun and create great work?
The Dark Knight
Today is a day I’ve been excited about for some time. Today, July 20th, 2012, is the day that The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters here in the United States. I’ve been looking forward to this film for a while, and I can’t wait to see what Director Chris Nolan does with the iconic Batman.
Heath Ledger’s famous line in the last Dark Knight movie stood out and even created a central marketing theme for the last movie that still even applies to the footage I’ve seen of the newest movie. “Why so serious?”
If you geek out over Batman like I do, then you know the answer to Batman’s need for severity. He is a man filled with pain destined to help heal a city that’s being torn apart in front of him every day. Batman is a character of deep sadness and heavy responsibility.
“Why so serious?”
Why are we so serious when we approach our art projects? Each of us will have our own variations of reasons, but here are a few common ones.
- We want to be revered for our work.
- We feel that only serious, heavy, and perhaps morose work will be respected.
- We think that “fun” art translates to trivial art.
- We mistake “fun” for “funny” and feel that we would have to create comedy in order to have fun while creating.
If your goal is to create a comedic piece, then of course you’re supposed to have fun. Other than that one exception for the comedy creators, we’re “supposed” to be serious.
Big Explosions and Blockbuster Fun
What’s made all of the Nolan-directed Batman films special is that the movies have plenty of gravity while still bringing the big fun of a summer action movie. Nolan and crew challenges the mass audiences to think about what they’re seeing, but there’s plenty of “bang” to keep movie goers cheering.
It’s possible to do both: to have fun and and to create meaningful art.
Here on Revive Your Creativity, I strive to bring structure to the chaos of the artistic process by talking about time management tips and the value of goals for your projects. Something I haven’t covered enough is the joy of creation.
Creativity isn’t about getting a big ol’ paycheck. Sure, it’d be nice if it did happen, but most of the world’s art doesn’t grab a huge audience. It’s a labor of love.
Wouldn’t it be better to enjoy the process of something that you may or may not ever get paid significantly for? After all, if you’re not having any fun, why stick with it? Life is too short to willingly spend our spare time stressing out over an artistic project that we’re not enjoying!
Ways to Have Fun
Quick review, we’ve already covered the fact that “fun” art doesn’t have to be silly or inconsequential. You have the choice to decide whether or not you enjoy the work you’re creating. With that in mind, let’s look at a few tips for having some fun along the way.
1.Before launching into the difficult work of your art, take some time to “warm up”. Musicians and athletes know they have to warm up their muscles before launching into physical activity. Let’s do the same to get our head in the right space. Do some quick warm-up sketches of something entirely unrelated. Write a quick scene with your favorite TV characters. Do something out of the norm to get you focused on creating.
2.Take time to “play” with the mechanics of your art. Try something new or entirely different with your art form once a day. You may find that writing while hanging upside down may not give you any extra creative insight, but you’ll likely find something useful fairly quickly. Using a new type of lighting in your photography may unlock a whole new look that you never thought of. Using a different setting on your guitar could give your new song just the energy it needed.
3. Look for your peers that are naturally excited about the art form you are attempting. Talk with the bookworm about stories. Talk with the drummer about her favorite rock music. Look for opportunities for the passion of others to keep you excited about your work.
4. Think through your artistic project and consider the most ridiculous version of it possible. Be silly. Try ludicrous variations of your art and see if anything actually made sense. If so, see if you can incorporate something original into the project. This is taking it a step further than suggestion #2. Here, we’re throwing out all of the rules and thinking about how we would willingly “sabotage” our project. It could be that the idea that you think is the worst has untold merit.
What about You?
If you have further ideas for ways to make and keep art fun through the creation process, be sure to leave a comment below.