Navigate the Creative Wilderness: 5 Tools to Cultivate Confidence | Liz Brindley | Skillshare

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Navigate the Creative Wilderness: 5 Tools to Cultivate Confidence

teacher avatar Liz Brindley, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Creative Wilderness!

      3:14
    • 2. A Note for Those Who are Not Able-Bodied

      0:29
    • 3. Class Project

      1:40
    • 4. Gather Your Materials

      0:33
    • 5. Pack Your Map & Field Guide

      2:53
    • 6. Pack Your Why

      2:41
    • 7. Pack Mindset

      5:12
    • 8. Pack Your Tools

      2:35
    • 9. Pack Your Fuel

      1:48
    • 10. Publish Your Class Project

      0:45
    • 11. Next Steps in the Creative Wilderness

      1:17
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About This Class

In this class in the “Creative Wilderness Tips” series, you will learn the five main tools to cultivate more confidence on your creative journey, navigate challenges with more acceptance and ease, and find support for your path.

This class is the first in the Creative Wilderness Tips series. I recommend starting here, but feel free to jump into any class in the series and go in the order that makes the most sense for your journey. 

Throughout the entirety of this series, you can expect to learn actionable tips to implement on your path to cultivate more confidence in your creative intuition, overcome the fear of unknowns, build support with a creative community, stay consistent with your practice, and celebrate your successes.

Hi! I'm Liz, your guide and trail buddy out here in the Creative Wilderness. I dove deep into the Creative Wilderness when I started my business, Prints & Plants, in 2017. 

Since starting my business, I have worked as an educator and licensed artist with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, crafted a mural for an international tech company, created brands and illustrations for multiple businesses, and become a Top Teacher on Skillshare.

It has been a *winding* journey to get to where I am now, and I know it will continue to evolve and shift over time! 

So now, I am so excited to share my field notes from the Creative Wilderness with you in this series in the hopes that it helps you navigate the highs, the lows, and the unknowns of your journey.

In This Class in the Creative Wilderness, You'll Learn How to:

  • Uncover your why to use it as a guide for your journey
  • Cultivate mindset to approach challenges with more clarity and grace.
  • Find the tools to help you cultivate more confidence in your creative journey.
  • Make time for self-care to fuel your creative work and journey.

You'll Walk Away From This Class With:

  • More clarity and confidence to move forward on your creative journey
  • The knowledge that you are not alone on your journey
  • Tools to take care of yourself on your creative path
  • Encouragement to keep expressing your creativity with full authenticity

What You Need:

-pen, pencil, or writing utensil of choice

-the Creative Wilderness Field Guide (linked in the Projects & Resources section)

-a phone to snap a photo of your completed section of the Field Guide to upload to the Class Project section

Get Social!

Share your journey! Snap a photo of your field guide as you work your way through this class! Share your photo on Instagram for a chance to be featured on the Prints & Plants account. Be sure to tag @prints_and_plants and #thecreativewilderness so I can cheer you on!

Ready to Dive Deeper?  Here are more resources for you:

Join the Prints & Plants Table for weekly creative inspiration here:

Join the Table

Take my “Time Management for Creatives” class here on Skillshare:

Time Management for Creatives

And dig into more Freelance & Entrepreneurship classes here:

https://www.skillshare.com/browse/freelance-and-entrepreneurship?via=header

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Liz Brindley

Illustrator

Top Teacher

 

 

I'm a Food Illustrator in Northern New Mexico. Most days you can find me creating illustrations for clients, teaching online creative classes, cooking up meals with lots of local produce, or exploring local farms for inspiration.

 

I believe that creativity can give us a greater sense of awareness, peace, and mindfulness for the everyday joys in life. Whether you express your creativity through painting, drawing, cooking, dancing, singing, or raising a family, I believe that we each have creative contributions to give to this world.

 

My hope is to give you the tools and skills to express your creativity with confidence so that you, too, can share your vision and cra... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome to the Creative Wilderness!: When I started my creative journey, I felt like I was missing some key information, some step-by-step process that everyone else seemed to be following to be successful on their creative path. I just couldn't find the predetermined steps to get from A to B. Because of this, I felt like I was flailing and failing. But eventually I realized there is no A to B. There is no set path on a creative journey, and realizing that was so incredibly freeing. As soon as I acknowledge this, it led me to start thinking about creativity as an expansive wilderness that we're all navigating in different ways. A wilderness that is gorgeous, raw, unknown, challenging, and fulfilling. Thinking about creativity as a wilderness to navigate rather than a set path to follow, allowed me to enjoy the journey so much more and gave me permission to trust myself and my creativity on a new level. Hey, I'm Liz. I'm an Illustrator and Creative Educator in New Mexico, and I own a creative company called Prints and Plants. I dug deep into the creative wilderness when I started my business in 2017. At that point, my plan was to teach kids about food and art. Now, I create custom illustrations, branding, and online creative classes for adults. Since starting my business, I work as an educator and licensed artists with the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, crafted a mural for an international social media firm, created brands and illustrations with multiple businesses, and become a top teacher on Skillshare. It has been in a winding journey to get to where I am now and I know it will continue to evolve and shift over time. That's why now I'm so excited to share my field notes from the creative wilderness with you in this series in the hopes that it helps you navigate the highs, the lows, and the unknowns of your journey. I hope throughout this series you learn that if you're feeling or behind out there, that you're not alone. The ups and downs of your journey are totally, totally normal. Throughout this series, we'll explore all of the different places in the creative wilderness. Some that you've likely already visited on your own path. Places like the forest of fear, celebration pass, dunes of doubt, and community cove. These places helped me learn how to cultivate competence in my creative intuition and trust about everyone's unique path out here is valuable. You can expect to learn actionable tips to implement on your path, to cultivate more confidence in your creative intuition, overcome the fear of unknowns, build support with the creative community, stay consistent with your practice, and celebrate your successes just to name a few. To kick off this series and today's class, I'm going to talk about the five items to pack for your journey so that you can have the mindset and tools on hand to navigate both the challenges and celebrations we'll encounter together. So are you excited? Me too. Let's pack our bags and go explore this creative wilderness. 2. A Note for Those Who are Not Able-Bodied: Throughout this series, I'll be using the word tyke and walk quite a bit to reference navigating the creative wilderness. But I want to be really mindful that some of you who watch this may not be able-bodied or have the ability to move through the wilderness in these more traditionally referred two ways. In whatever way that works best for you to navigate this creative wilderness metaphor and be part of this journey, I want you to know that you are totally welcome here. 3. Class Project: In this class in the Creative Wilderness Tip Series, we're chatting all about what to pack for your journey, so your class project for this class in the creative wilderness series is to print off the creative wilderness field guide PDF and fill out the "What to Pack" section. In this section, you'll find the following prompts to fill out: one, name your why, two, reframe your doubts, three, list your tools, four, gather your fuel. You'll learn about these prompts in this class so that you can fill them out in your field guide. You can find the creative wilderness field guide linked in the Projects and Resources tab of this class. You can find that by navigating to this bar, clicking "Projects and Resources" and navigating to the right side of the page. There you'll see the field guide linked and ready to download. Once you've completed the "What to Pack" section of your creative wilderness field guide, snap a photo and upload it to the class project section. You can do this by navigating to the Projects and Resources tab and clicking "Create Project". Here you can upload a photo of your completed section on the Field Guide. Be sure to include both a cover photo image as well as an image inside of this box. You can also type additional notes and observations from your creative wilderness journey into this space. Make sure you hit "Publish" when you are finished to save your project to the project gallery. In the next lesson, we'll talk about the materials you'll need for this portion of the creative wilderness tip series. I'll see you there. 4. Gather Your Materials: In this lesson, we're going over the materials you'll need for this class in the Creative Wilderness Tips series. The materials list for this class is short and sweet. It is The Creative Wilderness Field Guide PDF, which you can find in the projects and resources section, as well as a pen, pencil, or writing utensils of choice, and a phone to take a photo of the completed What to Pack section of the field guide and upload to the Class Project section. In the next lesson, we'll dive into the first item to pack for your creative wilderness journey. I'll see you there. 5. Pack Your Map & Field Guide: The first thing you'll need for your creative wilderness journey is a map. Having a map for your journey is super-helpful because it can give you the big picture and bird's eye view of where you're headed and what you might encounter out there. Now, I know that when it comes to creativity and the creative journey, a map can feel confining, especially when you wants to experiment and play and flow. But having a rough structure for your journey can give you clarity of the next step and as a result, can actually lead to even more creative play and flow. When you have a map and a plan, of course, lifestyle happens and unexpected things come up on your journey. But having the map in your pack can allow these pivots and shifts that come up to be a bit more manageable. I've included the map for this creative wilderness journey in the creative wilderness field guide, which you can find in the projects and resources section. This map will give you an overview of common stops along the creative path. Places like celebration pass, community cove, forest of fear, dunes of doubt, and garden of growth. I've outlined the stops on the map in a specific order based on my own creative journey in the way I've encountered these places in my creative path. But I want to note that this order that I have them in isn't necessarily the same on your journey. There might be stops that come earlier or later for you, or stops that repeat themselves entirely on your journey. There are a lot of stops like the stream of success or a value valley that come up multiple times out here in the wilderness. While you can take this class series in the order I've presented it on the map, you can alternatively just hop right to the class that most resonates with where you currently are on your journey. Having this map will be super helpful to remember that you are not alone on this journey. If you are feeling excitement or doubt or a high or a low on your creative journey, it is 100 percent normal. Many other creatives are probably out here experiencing similar stops on the map right alongside you. You can reference the map to see where we're headed together in the wilderness, and to remember that it's all a normal part of your journey. In addition to this map, you'll also want to pack the entire creative wilderness field guide. This is your guide for the series. In it you will find the information, prompts, and actionable exercises you need for each stop on your path. This guide will give you a way to track your trek through the creative wilderness, as well as build confidence in your unique creative intuition and journey. Be sure to print off the corresponding section of the guide for each place that we stop on the map, aka each class in this series. You'll be able to find the field guide linked in the projects and resources section of each class throughout the series. In the next lesson, I'll share the second item you'll want to pack for your journey. I'll see you there. 6. Pack Your Why: The second item you'll want to pack for your journey into the creative wilderness is your why. Your why states clearly why you were doing what you're doing. Why you're creating what you're creating? Why you are on this beautiful, winding, raw, transformational, creative path in the first place. Your why can be anything from why you're making a painting, to why you're working with a specific client, to why you're starting your creative business. Your why is your compass out here in the wilderness. It is your guide to keep you moving forward when things feel confusing or overwhelming or hard. Because I'm going to be real. Creative wilderness is beautiful and worth it, so worth it, yes, but it's also incredibly hard at times. It brings you right up to the edges of your growth and into your expansion. Your why is your reason to keep going and it is also your anchor to integrate your successes and the positive impact your creative work is having on the world. So then you know your why and have it in your pack, it can carry you through the depths and unknowns of the creative wilderness. There are a couple of ways I'll share here to find your why. The first is an exercise that I learned in Jenna Kutcher's "Goal digger" Podcast that she learned from her mentor Dean Graziozi. I believe the exercise is called seven layers deep. Essentially, you ask why something is important to you seven times to get to the deepest root that you can. For example, if you're starting a new creative project, you can ask why do I want to do this? And you answer that. Then you ask why again and you answer that and you repeat this process a total of seven times to get to your deeply rooted why for your creative journey. I go over this exercise in more depth in my Time Management for Creatives class here on Skillshare. If you'd like to learn more, you can find that class listed on my profile page, but you don't have to do this seven-layer exercise to find your why. Sometimes your why is just a simple and powerful gut feeling. You can tune into your body and listen to your intuition to find your why. For example, starting and running my creative business, prints and plants, has always been an intuitive gut feeling an intuitive yes, even in times where it's been hard and I wondered if I should quit, which does happen. My intuition still pulls me forward and guides me to keep going. That can be more than enough to be your why. The bottom line is that your why is your call, your pull, your Northstar, your compass. Go ahead and write down your why and your field guide. Keep it visible and handy to reference wherever you work on your creative goals. This way you can be reminded of it each day. In the next lesson, I'll share the third thing to pack for your creative wilderness trek. I'll see you there. 7. Pack Mindset: The third thing you'll want to pack for your creative wilderness journey is mindset. This word gets thrown around a whole lot and it can be a little woo, but woo can be good. It's helpful to have mindset with you in the creative wilderness, because mindset isn't about just all things are good all the time or nothing has ever wrong or challenging; no way. Mindset is about accepting challenges and hard emotions and hard times in the creative wilderness with the knowledge that you're strong enough to get through these things and get to the other side. Packing mindset for the creative wilderness can provide an acceptance of the discomfort and challenges that inevitably come up while also giving you the gumption to carry on and keep tracking, to keep going. How do you get mindset packed for the creative wilderness? Reframe; this concept is talked about a lot in mindset books and fellow Skillshare teacher and incredible illustrator, Dylan Mierzwinski talks about this exercise quite a bit too. Reframing is taking difficult experiences and thoughts and turning them into new opportunities and new steps forward. For example, when we encounter dead ends on our creative journey, and there are a lot of those out here in the creative wilderness, it can feel like that's it, it's over, we failed at something or we thought something was a good opportunity and then it wasn't. But if we reframe a dead end and it can look like this, dead ends lead to new opportunities. What if you get to a dead end and there's a tiny hole that you can crawl through that leads to a field of expansion, possibility, and opportunity? Or what if you get to the dead end and you turn back around feeling defeated, but then you notice that clearing that you can go through that leads you to a new and even better trail that we do exactly where you need to be? Again, the reframe for this would be dead ends lead to new opportunities. Another example is failure. I know failure freaks a lot of us creatives out on our journeys. But what if we reframe failure as failure helps me grow faster? For example, when I'm feeling scared to start something or try something new, I'm often just scared of failing. But if I can reframe this as failure helps me grow faster, then I can see that by taking action and moving forward, I can fail quickly, learn quickly, and get to where I need to go more efficiently. Another reframing example is when you feel like you're out of solutions to a problem and can't figure out how to move forward. You just feel stuck. In this instance, the reframe phrase can be everything is figureoutable. This is a phrase coined by Marie Forleo and she wrote a book with the same title, which I highly recommend. This phrase is so helpful because the thing is problem-solving and figuring things out. That is the consistent essential activity out here in the creative wilderness. There is a solution to everything, even when it's not what you expect it to look like. This reframe of everything is figureoutable leads the possibilities. It's not about reinventing the wheel or finding the new shiny tool, it's about opening your eyes to the solutions that are already around you. This is what mindset is all about. When we start to reframe and start to step into these sayings and phrases, it opens our eyes to new possibility. If I'm in a challenging space out here, and I say everything is figureoutable, that's going to trigger my brain to start looking for solutions. I might think of my friend who has been where I've been before and I can ask them for advice or I'll see a tool in my studio that I haven't thought to use in a certain way that I can now apply to the situation to make it better. This phrase can open your mind and eyes to new possibilities that were already there, but you just couldn't see when you are clouded by a different mindset of doubt, fear, or frustration. Reframing is huge for mindset out here in the wilderness to keep moving forward and to contribute to the perseverance and patience that is so necessary on this journey. Because honestly, I don't believe in the whole overnight success thing. So many creatives and creative entrepreneurs who have heard from or listened to on podcasts who are considered overnight successors, typically say that it actually took them about 10 years to get to that point, at least. There's so much behind the scenes that we don't see or acknowledge in people's creative process. There are so many times we don't see when people continue forward by just putting one step in front of the other to keep going. Having mindset in your pack for your truck can give you the patience and perseverance to keep moving forward through the creative wilderness. Mindset can be the tool to not stop on your creative journey because your creative dream and your creativity and your creative work, they matter. Now it's time for you to fill out that reframe exercise in the what to pack section of the creative wilderness field guide. In the left column, write a doubt or fear that you have. In the right column, write a reframe of this doubt or fear that helps you move forward on your journey. You can then reference back to these reframes in your field guide when things feel challenging or confusing out there in the creative wilderness. In the next lesson, I'll share the fourth item to pack for your creative wilderness trek. See you there. 8. Pack Your Tools: The fourth item you'll want for your trek through the creative wilderness is your tools to create. Now, these are the literal tools of the trade for whichever media that you work in. For example, if you're a painter, you'd need paints. If you're an illustrator, you'd need pens and paper and so on. But tools and creativity go beyond traditional artwork. Creativity isn't limited to artists. In fact, I believe that we are all creative as human beings. It's just an inherent part of being human. There are many more creative endeavors out there than we might traditionally think. For example, maybe you're a teacher, which is a huge creative job, and you're bringing along your curriculum for the track or the ideas of what you want to teach or inspiration from the world that you want to share with your students. Or maybe you're a chef or someone who likes to cook for fun. You'd need to bring your food, cutting board, and knives to practice. Whatever your creative focus, you need to bring the tools of the trade on your journey so you can practice and refine your skills. In addition to these traditional tools, you'll also need to contribute resources to your pack that reminds you that you're not alone out here in the creative wilderness, but other people have been here before you and are here alongside you. These resources can look like podcasts, books from your local library, this Creative Wilderness tips class series, other Skillshare classes, artist Instagram pages, YouTube tutorials. Now I know we're out here in the wilderness, so we're not going to have Internet, but just keep the metaphor loose. These tools that are often free can contribute to your journey, and remind you that you do not have to reinvent the wheel. This was a huge learning curve for me early on in my creative wilderness track. I had the feeling that I had to do everything from scratch and alone and prove that it was new and innovative, and after talking to other creatives and other creative business owners, I know that this can be a common feeling. But you don't have to start from the ground up. There have been people who have done what you want to do. There have been other painters, other teachers, other online educators. You're going to do it in your own cool, unique, beautiful, awesome way, which of course, is the best part, but you can learn from people who have been there before. You can take bits and pieces from one teacher and other tidbits from another teacher and start to learn and be reminded that you're not alone in this. These tools in your pack can allow you to take the pressure off that you don't have to reinvent any wheel. You can do it your own way with information that is already out there. In the next lesson, I'm sharing the fifth and final item to pack for your creative wilderness journey. I'll see you there. 9. Pack Your Fuel: The fifth item you'll need to pack for your creative wilderness journey is fuel. By this, I mean snacks for the trail because food's great. My favorite trail snacks are trail nuts, dried fruit, and instant coffee, in case you were wondering. But also, fuel as a metaphor for the fuel you need to keep going on your creative journey. Now I mean the literal stuff, taking care of yourself, meeting your basic needs because that is essential for creativity to flow. But also making time for play and fun, and your friends, and your family, and community for enjoyment of life outside of your creative pursuits. I know this can be hard because it can feel like creativity is life because well, it is, but the break from the intensity of working hard, and developing your craft to let go for a moment, and live life is so valuable to have the fuel to continue your creative work. That letting go for a minute, that break, that pause, that is where inspiration can come in. That is where creativity can rest and rejuvenate. That's where you get to rest and rejuvenate as well so when you come back into your practice, you have the fuel to keep going. This is just like after you go on a long hike, or run, or you've been sitting and working at your studio all day. With all of those, you can eventually feel your energy depleting, and as soon as you eat a snack or have water, it's like you can feel it moving throughout your body. It's the fuel and the recharge to keep going. Take a moment in your field guide to list out the places, people, things, and activities that give you fuel so you can quickly reference this list when you feel tired, or depleted, or discouraged in the creative wilderness to regain energy and keep going forward. In the next lesson, I'll go over how to publish your class project. See you there. 10. Publish Your Class Project: When you're all packed up and ready to enter the creative wilderness, take a photo of your completed what to pack section of the creative wilderness field guide. Then upload that photo to the class project section of this class. Remember that you can upload your class projects by going to the Projects and Resources tab and clicking the "Create Project" button. Once you've uploaded your photo, be sure to hit ''Publish'' to save it. Also be sure to check out other class projects from your fellow creatives in the project gallery. We're all out here together, so let's show support for each other's journeys. Lastly, be sure to let me know in the discussion section which item you are most excited to pack for this creative wilderness trek. In the next lesson, I'll share the next step that we're taking together on the creative wilderness journey. See you there. 11. Next Steps in the Creative Wilderness: Thank you so much for tuning into this first installment of the creative wilderness tip series. I cannot wait to continue this journey with you. I hope you're feeling more equipped, confident, and totally stoked to dive into the wilderness together. In the next class in the series, I'm going to share the top three tips I have to overcome overwhelm on your creative journey, so you can clearly pick your path when you have so many cool options to choose from. In the meantime, be sure to follow me here on Skillshare to stay up-to-date on new classes by hitting that "Follow" button. Hang out with me over on Instagram @prints_and_plants and check out more of my work @printsandplants.com. Stay wild, stay creative. I'll see you soon. Stay wild, stay creative. I'll see you soon. For example, when we encounter dead ends on our creative journey. Wrestling. Little bird.