Today’s Creative Tip: Try Something You Aren’t Already Good At

One of the most healing times in my life was when I lived in Northampton in my twenties and felt free and encouraged to try lots of kinds of art I hadn’t thought I was good enough to do before. I experimented with dance, singing, theater, piano, visual art, performance poetry, film and a lot of other things that I would say I’m not naturally all that “good” at.

In my early life, I grew up in a competitive New York City culture where I didn’t feel encouraged to try new types of art, especially ones I wasn’t already good at (even though my parents encouraged me, the rest of my world seemed so cut throat and competitive).

It’s so strange that we put way too much emphasis on being “good” at things rather than just doing them!

Realistic visual art was never my forte, or interest, so I was surprised that I decided to try this still life painting of some flowers a couple weeks ago at an art meetup in Portland. Usually, if I do visual art at all it will be collage or abstract mish mosh.

Creative Tip: Spend an hour everyday doing some form of art, and once in awhile try new things.


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2 thoughts on “Today’s Creative Tip: Try Something You Aren’t Already Good At

  1. Julie Greene, MFA says:

    Northampton is a great place to try new things. Especially since the population is on the young side, so everyone else is trying new things, too. After all, being young means just about all things in life are new. In 1977, after being fired from McDonald’s on Route 9 in Hadley (is that one still there?) I moved into an apartment in a row house not far from the middle of Northampton. My new roommate was a dog breeder. Yes, I tried something new. Her puppies were born about a month later. This was a wonderful experience for me. Even more terrific, I fell in love after that, with my new dog, Hoofy. He and I became hitch-hiking partners, inseparable for the next ten years.

    Julie Greene (and Puzzle)

    • Chaya says:

      Yeah, it was a great place to try new things. Oddly my high school wasn’t, even though people were young, teenagers. They were so competitive and driven to excel more than to explore.
      I’m glad trying something new worked out for you too 🙂

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