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Cringe and Create: What it Means to Create Confidently

As creatives I think we have a heightened sense of hindsight in terms of viewing our work; we always see what we could have, should have done better and fail to see the leaps and bounds of progress between projects. This often causes us to falter on the starting blocks of a new project or give up halfway through. Yes, it’s that nasty little word - perfectionism.

Though it may pop up in different behaviours; procrastination, over outlining, delaying the start, never finishing, you get the picture, the whole of it is this idea that we cannot create, we cannot share our creations unless they are perfect. The problem with that is we are all still learning, growing and expanding what our creativity and art looks like. We are not perfect because we are human and that is why we can create art that connects with others.

The idea behind Creating Confidently is to create unapologetically, but also to create at any level with confidence in your creativity - no your craft. We can always get better at the craft, but we first have to be secure and confident in who we are as creatives, in the fount of creativity we possess and draw from. We are always evolving, if we weren’t everything would go stale. But to be able to know you are meant to create, that you are worthy of honouring your creativity with action is a profound thing.

To Cringe and Create means to be able to work through those less than perfect projects. To create with confidence in our creativity, even when we are lacking in the craft. We may cringe through the creative process, but better to cringe at our work than to hide our creativity for fear of making a mistake. Creativity is messy, it is processing and learning and wild. We need to create despite our imperfections. If that means we look back at what we’ve done and cringe at our lack of finesse then so be it, but that means we have created something.

You can’t improve if you never do.

You can’t edit the blank page, or fix a painting on a blank canvas. The danger is that our inadequacy will stop us from creating. The fear of not being perfect, of creating something that is flawed holds us back from creating at all. We cannot improve if we do not create. We cannot express our joy and fears and longings if we hold it inside and refuse to let it out.

I often find myself cringing at past writings, old outlines and poorly construed plots. Watching old dance tapes both serve as a sense of nostalgia and the cringe face as I plead to go back and redo the dance with the skills and stamina and artistry I’ve developed ten years later. Had I been scared to write or sketch or dance back then I would never have become the flawed artist I am today. Even since starting this blog and Instagram journey I look back at old posts and blog outline ideas and want to bury them where no one will ever see them, but that would be burying pieces of myself and my work that are integral to who I am and what I do today.

Does that always mean I’m getting better? No. Does it mean I am always creating? Yes. If we allow our own pride to get in the way of self expression and creativity we are not allowing ourselves to grow and evolve as creatives or as people.

Create imperfectly. Cringe when you look back on your journey and see the progress you’ve made, but never let it deter you from creating authentically. Maybe one day you will look back and no longer cringe, you will instead recognize the leaps and bounds you have come, you will appreciate the zeal and confidence with which you made a past piece and smile because you could do so much better now, but you love the enthusiasm you had to be bold and create without fear.

Cringe at your past craft, never at your creativity.

With all of this and more in mind I want to start a campaign in June called Cringe and Create where we share our creations, perfect or not, old and new with each other and with the world whether that be in person, on the blog or on your social media platforms to learn to let go and stop being precious about our creations and our craft and revel in the joy of creating for fun, exploration and growth.

Let’s cringe and create together - take up something new or try a craft you’ve been too scared to try, but create; just create.

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