Life Adventures
Comments 15

Create like No-one is Watching.

Joe Annual 1969

Do you create and make for no apparent reason?  Is that ok?  Ok to draw or paint or sew for no reason other than to do it, to practice?

Maybe this is a good life lesson, get the equipment and a little guidance and get going.  Try and create as if no-one is watching and no-one cares how it turns out.  Don’t you always feel the pressure to do everything well or wonder why you are bothering?  If I get asked to do or make a specific thing, I get all nervous and jittery and worried that it won’t be good enough.  Will it break, be the right colour, will it be in focus?  If I just grab a handful of beads and tell myself that I will keep it if it does not turn out, or if I pick up my phone and snap a few practice shots, guess what, it often turns out and I feel great about my project. If it doesn’t turn out so well, at least I know I need to research and onwards and upwards.  Still I have little panics and put the pressure on.

Are you good at being confident when you are asked to do something?  I am no good at all.  Even if I absolutely know I can do the job, I am always self doubting and getting on my own nerves frankly.  On the positive side, it does mean that I prepare and practice as much as I can to get it right.

I have been taking a few classes and there have been lots of ‘why on earth did I not think of this before’ moments.  Aren’t they the best?  That realisation that you can do something, you just need to pick up the idea, shake it about, turn it upside down and look at it from a different angle.  It is amazing the new things you see and then realise what you can do.

Joe Annual 1969

I struggle with the whole practice thing, I mean really practice, not just get an idea and do it once.  I mean follow the whole thing through, what else can it be, what else can I use, does it need to be upside down?  I tend to do something and once I can do it, move on to the next thing without fully exploring the first technique or idea.  Often the best thing I can do is give myself a time or a page amount and not allow myself to stop until the time is up or the pages are filled.  No matter what nonsense I have created, there is often something of use in there.  Do you have a ‘get it done’ technique or are you way more disciplined than me?!

I feel like I need to do something and do it right pretty soon, or else don’t bother, move on.  This may also have something to do with my terrible patience level/ability to practice.

This I think is why I like to take on projects/challenges which tell me to do this that or the other, every day.  I have been taking a photo a day for years now using Fat Mum Slim‘s prompts and I enjoyed the Stickmen project last year hosted by Lilian at It’s A Dome Life.  Tinkerlab host a great sketchbook challenge too which starts in February.  I am even thinking, for one month, drawing the Fat Mum Slim prompts and seeing how I do, this might be a bit of a stretch at the minute, but it is in the back of my mind for future reference.

Talking of reference, how fabulous are these images from my childhood book – The Joe Annual 1969.  I must have owned this second hand (how I still like to own things!) as I was only just born in 1969 and not quite up to colouring and completing puzzles!  I clearly had a good go at colouring the ‘pop group’ though.

Don’t forget to share your creative tips and how you keep momentum.


  1. I love this Clare! I often need some sort of structure to be inspired and keep up momentum. I did Fat Mum Slim for 1 month and really enjoyed it. I did alot of courses last year and my creativity seemed to reflect what I was doing at the time, eg blogging alot during a blog course, heaps of photos during the photo courses etc etc. Because I am such a procrastinator, I realise I need support, structure, deadlines etc. and then I work so much better. x

  2. I agree that sometimes it is hard to get the momentum happening and keep it going. I love the notion to create when no one is watching-a much more freedom to explore rather than compare. I join in a few creative bits and pieces like the photo a day, the collage club and Journal 52. I feel when I have a bit of a network it helps me actually get something done. Good luck if you decide to draw the FMS prompts -that is am awesome idea:)

    • Thanks for the reminder that I need to join the Collage Club! Journal 52 sounds interesting, I am off to look at that now. I just saw that A Beautiful Mess have a new 52 week course which looks good too. So much to do….

  3. I love that “create like no-one is watching”, much as I am enjoying the novelty of sharing my creations via instagram etc. I think it’s important not to have that pressure for some private creating, just like journal writing I guess. I do believe though that all the things you try and discover can become part of your repertoire, you never know when they will pop up again into your life. I wouldn’t worry about discipline and practice, but celebrate spontaneity and flow. See you over at BWP or on Instagram. (oh and I was born in 1969 too)

    • Hi Emily, I do like to learn as much as possible and try and keep doing them all a little bit. Spontaneity and flow, I like it!

  4. girl i loved this post! so much really resonated with me!

    i used to own a little artsy boutique. i would often get requests for custom work based on my original design, which i would know was good work/design based on my own satisfaction and actual sales of said original work…. so while it was flattering i always froze and questioned myself and skills. it was so painful to the point i quit taking on custom work.

    • Oh boy isn’t that the truth Tracie?! Every time anyone e mails me about jewelry I have sold them, I always assume that it has fallen apart or they don’t like it! I like to make just for the sake of it, but I am always thinking that isn’t good enough, what is the point etc etc. Maybe I need therapy…..ha!

  5. I really think these challenges are very good practice. I need to do another, maybe the tinkersketch one. I do have a brand new sketchbook from Christmas!

    • Ohhh, nothing like a lovely new sketchbook (once you get past the first page!). I have been loving drawing with a little guidance from classes, must do more!

  6. Creativity can be a scary thing, it’s putting a little bit of yourself out there into the world for other people to judge and scrutinise. I think your absolutely right, every now you need to create just for yourself, I think that can be a free-er way to create when your just creating for the love of it. Thank you for the reminder of this 🙂

  7. I’m a lot like you Clare. I am full of ideas – give them a go, have some success, move on to the next project. I think it’s a great idea to perhaps reflect, practice, explore what else could be done. At the same time I’m also a procrastinator. Love the idea to create like no-one is watching. Talk about taking the pressure off. I think that could work wonderfully well for me and my creative process.

  8. Pingback: Crochet Valentines with Printable | Doodles and Jots

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