#MindfulMondays: The 365 Day Challenge

You had mentioned “just doing”, putting your paintbrush on the canvas and coming back from a 10-year hiatus. I know that whenever I come back from being away from writing for a long time or photography there is a self-doubt or a worry of not being as good as I was and that can sometimes be paralysing. So what did you learn from this challenge?

Well what I realised is that I still got it.

It’s like riding a bike again. I was concerned about how steady is my hand, has my eye changed but it’s just about testing and exploring. Things don’t need to be perfect and that’s the beauty of art that if you don’t like something you can continue to create on top of it, paint over it and it’s a reminder in life. Things change and you should adjust accordingly and it’s just about how you make it. So getting back into art has given me a growth mindset.

How has this practice developed as a habit and changed your artistic process and your mind when it comes to creating?

When it comes to creating I used to wait for the whim of inspiration and that can lead to months and months of not doing anything and I think a lot of creatives have also experienced that. But with this set time frame that I gave myself to create daily it reminded me that I have the ability, it’s just about being dedicated and simply just doing it.

I relate to that because I have been known to write or take photos when I feel the whim of inspiration but if you’re actually going to double down on your talents and skills then you have to commit and be dedicated. Even on days you don’t want to do it, that’s when you gotta do it. It’s the cheapest form of therapy for me.

Just being concientious of what your objective is and if my objective is to create daily then that’s what I am going to do. So it’s realising that if I set an objective, if I set a goal, if I know what my output will be then this can apply to everything in my life. So I also set objectives and goals in other parts of my life.

Talk to me about the connections you have been able to make through this challenge and the opportunties it has given you, I know you have done a beautiful mural in Garowe.

Just by sharing my work I have been able to connect with all types of artists from all over the world. It has allowed me to build an online community. So sometimes they [check in on me] and we have conversations about how the creative process is going or recommendations on books to read or different artists to check out. This has just created a lovely community and I’ve connected with lovely individuals that are creating in different capacities and without sharing my work I would have never connected with them.

As creators we believe that it’s a very individualistic process and in your creative process yes it is but you don’t have to isolate yourself, you can still have these ties with others. A lot of artists of our age are contemplating whether they should be creating for just social media sake because I think a lot of artists, due to branding, will create in a certain style so that it’s more recognisable, [cohesive] and ‘Instagram’ friendly. So there is that struggle of do I create for IG or do I create to create and that’s a debate I had with many artists, and it’s nice to know that we are different kinds of artists from different backgrounds but we still have the same concerns as artists and that’s reassuring.

I think that is something that many young creatives battle with. Personally, I’ve always been a writer and a photographer and aesthetic has never played a role in that, I just did but then on social media platforms there is a difference between sharing for the sake of sharing and leveraging the platform. If your art is something that you want to sustain you and build off then there has to be more calculated choices in what you put out and that may not be the best thing but you have to weigh what you want and Instagram is just a window into your work and not your full work. You have to have an internal understanding that it doesn’t validate your work, it just lets people see it.

Exactly

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