An open letter to the Creative Community
I want to take a moment to acknowledge the recent deaths within our creative community. Not limited to Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, or a local Creative who took his own life earlier this year, but to all people who left this world by their own hand. My sincerest regards go out to their family and friends.
The acts themselves are not the inspiration for these words. Nor are these words a way for me (or readers) to grieve. Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, and the value she has placed on her own creativity is what inspired me. Her life has shown me that being a creative can take you to some dark places but you can overcome those places and continue to create.
Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love not only created art in many different edgy pioneering ways, they created a child during a really dark time in each of their lives. This coupled with the struggles, struggles only they get to understand, lead to some bad choices for both of them. Love made her way through and Cobain made his decision too. Their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was just two at the time her dad died.
She is a creative force with a wicked creative mind taking on the demands of the world on her own terms. She is not a hero in this article, nor is she a victim. I find her inspiring because she is a Creative that has established her self-worth and doesn’t give a crap what others think when she says yes, or no, or what she creates. It’s one of those things that even though her father couldn’t find peace, he, with Love, still created someone who could. I have links at the bottom of this article to read more about Frances Bean Cobain’s life since her father’s death.
Understanding the Creative Process
To even begin to understand the Creative, you must understand the creative process is never the same for any of us. Standard operating procedures do not exist for creating. I want you to know the Creative uses their heart and soul. They are blessed with a talent, struck by inspiration and overcome with life at any time the process. The most euphoric experiences can often be met with the very next moment being the scariest thing in the world because you are exposing your creativity to the world or vice versa. It is what we all dream and dread at the same time.
I want to talk up about the creative process …
- The roller coaster of emotions that could circle around the Creative.
- What it is like for a creative to open up and let the world see what they created and the pressures and the joys that go with it.
- And the only thing every person’s creative process has in common.
We are all different
I am, by no means, suggesting that this is a thought process of any of the Creatives I mentioned earlier or that all creatives move through this process the same. Each individual person is dealing with what life has for them and that are all fighting our own battle. I am not a therapist or doctor; I am a creative with experience with moving in and out of depression. My personal experiences and my experiences with the creative process, both as successes and as failures, give me an opportunity to be able to express grace and mercy for and empathize with other Creatives. I clearly know everyone’s battles are different and I know we are never alone in the fight. And when one succeeds we all succeed!
Being a creative and allowing others to share in your creativity is such an extremely vulnerable place. As Creatives, we are inherently called to create and then present our creativity and “put it out there”.
There is so much reward with any dedication to creating but I am very aware of the trials and hardship that could come with the commitment to create and then to “put it out there”.
For example, one might start with inspiration, and then talent and/or creative genius work themselves in there and before you know it the creative process is flowing! The inspired euphoric high hits, but then you blink, your thoughts change, and the anxiety slams down. You talk yourself back with love and self-awareness to begin again. Then you are stopped cold feeling paralyzed! Bam, then it’s back; when you are inspired again. Now a few different things could happen at this point. One, you start creating again. Two, you throw the project in the trash. Or three, you just sit there and stare.
Creating is a thing we know how to do and, when inspired, the creativity can flip into overdrive, undoubtedly creating some amazing things. So we made it through the creative process and the emotional roller coaster without throwing the project out the window. Time for it to make its debut, be released to the client, handed over to the editor, or hung on the wall for all to buy and see!
The very idea that our vulnerability is exposed every time we hand over a project or debut a piece of work adds a SUPER scary layer or/and a GRAND sense of accomplishment to the process. Either way, just like that the project is no longer just yours, yet so much of YOU was put into creating it. The completion of a project can be a weight lifted or the sense of pride fueled by the feeling of accomplishment versus the doubt-filled anxiety coupled with the fear of rejection.
The Creative is Part of the Art
And so this brings to me to what all Creatives have in common; some of the best parts of a Creative go into their creativity and creations. This can make it hard, sometimes unbearable to let go of the creations themselves. You can’t compare or you can’t measure. It’s just a known that when you buy a piece of artwork, watch a production, or listen to music you are also getting a very valuable a part of the Creative, too, the inspiration that was given to them to create.
The creative process has disoriented me. I might even be disoriented right now (no, I definitely am) as I write this. My high has been thrown off and I have fallen deep into fear, doubt, regret and depression all layered with the heaviness of questioning everything I have ever created. The fear, the doubt, and the paralyzing states are all real to my creative process.
Yes, we all are dealing with our own issues, even when the eyes and smile tell a different story. I hope that you always check in with those around you. I know am always grateful when someone checks in with me.
My Creative Process
In the video, I am going to talk more about my creative process and how I moved my way in and out of depression. And how I began to take my power back from negative thoughts. (You can also find the video on the Thriv Community Facebook Page)
So many seemly healthy Creatives find themselves in dark places. Places that make them question their worth and listen to doubt and fear. They are living in anxiety with the illusion that no one can help them. My heart breaks. I can’t even imagine how terrible that place is.
And it is something you can’t pray away for them. For prayer is best used for those who believe they are worthy of the love from the answered prayer. And for those that can muster the courage to even pray and ask for help. Prayer is available to help the believers cope with the incomprehensible idea that the pressures of life can take us to a place where sometimes we feel like we can’t return. I am a grateful person and I believe in prayer and I use it to help heal. I know that there is a way out and I choose to believe I am worthy of love.
We are a Community
So together as a creative community, we get to mourn and we get to continually be inspired by the works these Creatives left behind. Because it is an honorable way we can give value to their legacy and to hold true to this by continuing to create and also by asking for help. Hopefully, we are reminded that none of us are defined by the number of people who see our worth. And we are not defined by any judgment of theirs. It is important to live within the idea that it is essential for all of us to see the unconditional love we all deserve. We must feel that we are worthy of love, especially our own.
I personally choose to teach, guide and utilize my strengths and lessons of worthiness as an offering to others so they can see their own worthiness. The other side of my coin here is that I have no control over who chooses to feel the warmth of my beacon and accept my message of worthiness. But this will never keep me from sharing it. This is also what inspired me to start my “Crap Behind Creating” vlog.
You Are Worthy
As a believer of worthiness, I will promote, cheerlead, praise, suggest and guide and remind you that you are worthy.
You, Creative, deserve to feel the light and joy of your creations without the demands of the outside world or the internal fears getting in your way. The talent to create, however that looks and feels for you, is a gift given to you. You want more and you go and get more. If less is better then that is all yours to own too. At the end of each day, I ask you to reflect. I ask you to see the beautiful parts of the hard lessons of the days. And accept the bountiful gifts of blessings that were made just for you.
“Your value can never be measured by anything and you are the number one resource of your ability to create.”
People will have their opinions. Some will tell you what is expected. Others will demand because they can’t do what you can do. Some will pay you for your creativity and others will want it for free. There will be some that honor you and those who will try to knock you down. There are those who have unconditional love for you. But all of these can never replace the ability you possess to give yourself unconditional forgiving acceptance and love to yourself. And we are all blessed when you love yourself in such a way that you are willing to give it back to us through your creations.
You will feel like people are always trying to take take take until there is nothing left. The options you can choose from are to keep trying to provide or stop to recharge or ask for help. Stepping away is ok. Going away forever I wish never to have been an option.
These words are dedicated to the ALL who have taken their lives as the only way they felt they could eliminate the pain. You are greatly missed. Thank you for your kind and generous offerings you gave through your creativity. May your souls rest in peace and your family and friends find comfort in the transition that comes from the passing of your time here.
Dedicated to but not limited to only these beautiful creative souls …
Actor: Robin Williams, 63 years old
Fashion Designer: Kate Spade 55 years old
Singer: Kurt Cobain, 27 years old
Fashion Designer: L’Wren Scott, 49 years old
Novelist: Ernest Hemingway, 61 years old
Journalist: Hunter S. Thompson, 67 years old
Artist: Vincent Van Gogh, 37 years old
Writer: Virginia Woolf, 59 years old
Director: Tony Scott, 68 years old
Hip Hop Artist: Freddie E, 22 years old
Photographer: Diane Arbus, 48 years old
Author: Reinaldo Arenas, 47 years old
Actress: Marilyn Monroe, 36 years old
Musician: Wendy O. Williams, 48 years old
How each Creative internalizes defeat, failure, success, and recognition are all different for each of us. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please, reach out for help. You are not alone and there are people who care about you being here tomorrow. I am one of those people and you, with or without your many talents, matter. You always matter. You are worthy, trust me. Please!
The suicide rate in the United States has seen sharp increases in recent years. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK.
There is also a crisis text line. https://www.crisistextline.org/
For crisis support in Spanish, call 1-888-628-9454.
The lines are staffed by a mix of paid professionals and unpaid volunteers trained in crisis and suicide intervention. The confidential environment, the 24-hour accessibility, a caller’s ability to hang up at any time and the person-centered care has helped its success, advocates say.