When I first decided to pursue calligraphy as more than just a hobby, I was quickly taken aback by the overwhelming amount of talent in the field. (Just search #moderncalligraphy or #handlettering on Instagram and you’ll know what I mean.) But I decided not to allow my inferiority to keep me from doing something I was passionate about. And I am so glad I did.
The phrase “creativity takes courage” has been circulating through my social media feed for months now. Many of the calligraphers and lettering artists I follow have beautifully added their own creative flare to the phrase, and it is great to see the different styles and techniques used. At first, I saw this phrase as a nice sentiment, but for some reason it didn’t “click” for me until more recently.
For those of you that don’t know, my first creative passion is music. I have been singing in church since I was a young girl, studied music in college, and sang for many special events over the years. It has been a wonderful creative outlet for a long time, but because it’s so familiar to me, it doesn’t necessarily require courage anymore… Fast forward twenty years to something I have never done before, at least publicly, and now I fully understand why creativity takes courage.
It can be difficult to put yourself out there when you know there are people more capable, talented, and connected than you. Through the simple browse of a hashtag, you can find hundreds of other posts just like yours – many of them that you would consider better than your own – and this will make you seriously question whether it’s even worth the effort. But I encourage you in this: create anyway. Because your creative outlet is for you first.
If I have learned anything in the last year and a half of this creative journey, it is just how important creativity is to my soul. I can’t let my own insecurities or self-doubt get in the way of something so necessary to my life. There will always be someone better than me – and that is okay! It gives room for growth; something to aspire to, and motivation to keep working hard.
So do yourself a favor, and create something new. Soon. Whether it’s a painting, a hand lettered quote, or something else that is soothing to your soul – do it. Give yourself space to make mistakes, and the freedom to be creative – because, as Maya Angelou puts so eloquently: “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Thanks for following along! If this was helpful to you, or you’d like to share what you’ve been encouraged to create – I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below.