When I catch myself in a particularly introspective mood – you know, those times when the cladding is drawn back and you get a good clear look at the foundations, the load bearing columns that really form your character – it occurs to me that the creativity drivers in me are often the darker elements. The flaws, the crooked parts. Yup – that’s the good stuff.
Now, this truth is a truth for me, and not necessarily for you. (But I suspect there’s a pretty good argument that some of the most creative folks are also some of the most screwed up as individuals.) Sadly, though, it doesn’t follow that having a dark element necessarily means that your creativity will be any good – whatever form it might take. It’s just another thing for the dark-inclined to capitalize on: you might be creative, but you might also suck. And the question of sucking (or not) can only be answered by third parties, and not by yourself. Of course, the whole thing provides a kind of dark, self fulfilling and endlessly repetitive cycle. It’s no wonder then, that for those of a creative bent, getting what they do witnessed becomes so very important indeed.
Whether it’s painting, writing, performance art or scrap-booking, those who do it crave positive feedback, and more often than not, the simple idea of that feedback: the thought that somewhere out there, someone is looking at that thing they did and is thinking, “hmm, that’s not bad”. It’s a warm, satisfying ideal.
So next time you catch yourself staring at that part of you you like the least, hey, cut it some slack; it just might be your creativity showing.