Passion Projects, Creative Outlets and Posting them Online
I can’t count the number of projects I’ve started and abandoned over the years; I have a feeling I’m not the only one. And yet, internet is filled with millions of successful people, posting their most recent, complete, seemingly effortlessly and perfectly original projects.
Fear of Posting and where it comes from
Among the usual thoughts and feelings of creating something new is the very recent fear of creating something the internet would hate and trash. Or simply ignore. It can lead people to only create what they think their followers want to see, to be overly critical and judgemental of their own work before, or during the process of posting it.
And so, I buried my half-finished notebooks, scraps of scenes and concepts in the drawer under my bed.
It wasn’t until I was an adult with not much else to do in lockdown (number 2?) when I realised, I can do whatever I want, without the pressure, need or fear of posting or printing it.
I’d like to point out that yes, the internet is an amazing resource and can help fuel creativity, give advice and practical tips on how to be the best at what you do, as well as providing a platform to create a community. Some people will be motivated to create and experiment with creativity through social media communities, challenges and prompts online. This can be a great way of getting into the habit of creating and finding what you like vs what you struggle with…. However, this isn’t an essential part of our creativity.
My personal thoughts
You don’t have to post every single piece of artwork, concept, art experiment, and neither do I. Not having judgemental eyes and ears on everything you create can be healthy, helpful, and liberating. Passion projects and creative outlets can sometimes act like a diary, it’s personal and meaningful, it may not resonate with people who don’t know you and comments like ‘I don’t get it’ and ‘why do you care about this project so much?’ can deter people from following through the project, as a past time, or an outlet.
The world is more than the internet, follower and like count; you can build a community in person, you can share your work with friends, family, classmates who may be able to help and you don’t need to throw your work into the web and hope strangers across the globe click a heart.
We can (and we should) create something selfishly for ourselves.
8 Tips for a creative mindset:
1. Be you: create what you want to create, not what you think will get the most likes online. (This is the most important point).
2. Take your time: a passion project doesn’t have a deadline and rushing/forcing creativity doesn’t help anyone.
3. Take charge: only do what you want with your work, you don’t have to post about it, talk about it, or scream about it from the top of a hill…but you can also post about it, talk about it, or scream about it from the top of a hill.
4. Take breaks: allow yourself space and time away from the work mindset, enjoy the sun, play some games, see a real life human other than your mum.
5. Use online resources: There’s plenty of free/easily accessible resources online to help you when you realise you have no clue what you’re doing.
6. Don’t limit your project to the final piece: if you want to paint a character from your script, but you’re a terrible artist, do it anyway. Nothing about your passion/creativity is a waste of time.
7. Do what works for you: if you hate routine don’t make a strict schedule, if you don’t work well alone you don’t have to, and vice versa.
The internet is an amazing tool if you wish to use it, but don’t let it control what you’re passionate about, don’t let it take away the things you’re excited about, don’t let it scare you out of learning something new and most definitely do not add your mum’s best friend on Facebook.
Top Secret Tip: You don’t even have to be in the industry you’re interested in to participate. You don’t even have to fully understand the thing you are creating because it’s for you, your outlet, your joy and it’s your project baby.
Charlotte Taylor, Cohort 31, Junior Content Producer Apprentice at Havas Lynx