To take those first steps into creativity, we need to dig out the negative beliefs and replace them with positives.

One of the first tasks I did to start my art journal was to uncover some negative beliefs. The task originates in The Artist’s Way.

First of all write down and address those negative beliefs. Look them in the eye and tell them to get lost.

In the next 10-15 minutes, write down 10 thoughts without thinking about it too much, that reveal your resistance to being more creative. Here were mine:

  1. I don’t have time to be creative
  2. I don’t have the money to spend on being creative
  3. I don’t have any good ideas.
  4. I feel silly trying to be creative.
  5. I don’t have arty clothes and don’t look the part of an artist.
  6. I’m too mundane and ordinary to be an artist.
  7. I feel pretentious trying to be an artist.
  8. I won’t have other people’s approval if I’m an artist.
  9. Being an artist is airy fairy.
  10. Only privileged people get to be artists.

Now after you’ve done that, write down the opposite of what you’ve just written on another piece of paper and note how you feel while writing this. Here were mine:

  1. I have lots of time to be creative.
  2. I have plenty of money to spend on being creative.
  3. I have lots of great ideas.
  4. I take being creative seriously.
  5. I have lots of bohemian clothes that make me look like an interesting creative.
  6. I’m extraordinary enough to be an artist.
  7. I feel down to earth being an artist.
  8. I approve of myself as an artist and don’t care what others think.
  9. Being an artist is serious play.
  10. I feel privileged creating art and anyone can be an artist.

How do you feel about overturning those beliefs? Do the positives seem ridiculous to you? The phrase that felt most ridiculous is usually the most significant.

Now that you have your two pieces of paper, you can add them to your art journal. Put the negatives in an envelope labelled ‘Monsters’ and the positives in an envelope labelled ‘The Truth’. Stick the envelopes into your journal and add drawings and decoration to the page.

Choose a positive affirmation from the list of positives that you’ve uncovered from your negatives. Explore this in your morning pages. Alternatively, use a positive affirmation to inspire an illustration in your art journal. If you don’t want to draw, use collage or photographs or anything you think is suitable.

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