Authentic Creativity or Creatively Authentic?

‘ve said it before, but being creative requires you being able to bear a piece of your soul. 

It doesn’t really matter what you create; when an inspired manifestation of your inner thought is turned into something tangible, it is quite literally a piece of you.

Being able to get into the state at which you can create authentically is often challenging in a world of distractions – the social noise and its many influences lead us to second guess ourselves, doubt our ability even. Though this is a double-sided conundrum, as where we can experience comparison, doubt our abilities and end up with a raging case of imposter syndrome, the flip side is that we open up our world and vision on a global level, and within it find new inspiration and the drive the raise the bar. We find our own vibe and our tribe, and together you grow.

Grassroots

When I set up my first business, Sweet Alchemy, I took on every single project that came my way. I was honing my skills and learning as I went, but I didn’t have a style, per se. I had flair and passion, but no idea how that would manifest into the work I was doing – that actually felt impossible at the time – but little by little, I began to fine-tune my craft.

The more projects I worked, the more daring my designs became, and it was actually only about a year before I really began to refine my style and began to get a feel of my favourite ways to work.

It was bold, larger than life and hyper-realistic, often on a horror theme and when I got to work on a project that ticked all my boxes, I strode out into the flow of my creative authenticity and created some of the best work I ever made – I learned to love painting again and painted in edible colours on client’s cakes, I made chocolate skulls and sci-fi replicas and painted those too.

Northampton Comic Con 2016 – posing with my chocolate skulls

I had found my creative sweet-spot, and the best thing was I hadn’t even really noticed until someone very familiar with my work and progress mentioned that all of my designs had a slightly gothic flair to them. I laughed at the time, but as the years went by, I saw it for myself.

Being authentic and working from this place meant I could access the magic of my deepest creative passion and transform the ingredients in front of me into way more than just cake; each project was a steep learning curve, but that just made me set my bar higher.

This was my vein of creative authenticity, and the more I embraced it the more I noticed I was attracting my ideal clients which was something I hadn’t calculated; earlier this year I received an order who was a referral from a referral who lived over 100 miles away, and chose to work with me because they couldn’t find a cake decorator willing to take on their project nearby. I didn’t know any of this until they had collected their order, and this for me was a dream project – something I could never have dreamt of five years ago. Check the pictures below…

If I had tried to focus only on the trends and recreating the most popular designs people asked for, this client would never have found me.

The what ifs…?

Scrolling through instaโ€ฆ the noise begins again.

Self-doubt and imposter syndrome can make us ask ourselves questions, reconsider our position, our market, our skill;

What if I did that?

What if my clients want what they’re doing?

What if that’s why I can’t confirm the booking or ask for that money?

What if, what iii…. *presses finger to lips* shhhhhโ€ฆ.

That, right there, is what will lead you off your path. All those questions, the doubt, it all compounds into cement that blocks creative flow and before long, you’ve gotten creative with your authenticity.

You’ve watched a million marketing webinars, strategies and skipped the loop on the vinyl – the needle scratches. You’ve lost who you are, and instead of feeling your way through your art form and expression, you’re overthinking who wants to see your work and what it will mean to them, presenting your clouds of thought instead of your real. And now you’re treading water,  lost in the sea of anaemic messaging and luke-warm potential.

Being creative with our authenticity is an easy trap to fall it, the slip is so subtle it can be hard to realise until we’re deep in it and struggling – wondering why suddenly everything seems hard and you feel blocked. Believe me, I’ve been here more than once, and the only way I could fix it was by getting back to me.

Tirgger warning – the personas we create around our business are an insecurity

IF we doubt ourselves, step away from our truth or try to force our creativity down a rabbit hole to earn a quick buck, we lose more than we will ever gain. Not to mention confuse ourselves and our audience.

IF you’re setting up a business or wanting to follow your passion, you’re going to have to stand out, because there are a million people who are going to tell you it won’t work, or that they tried it and the market is too saturated. You’re going to have to ignore those people, but read between their lines and you’ll realise that the market is only saturated if you’re offering what everyone else is selling.

IF you can access that raw creativity inside of you, channel it into whatever the hell you want to do and show up for your audience in your most real, authentic and – naturally – a little vulnerable form, you’ve won half the battle. You are offering something no one else can – you – because there is no one else on earth who has the combination of all your unique gifts, thoughts, imagination or potential.

That you is all you need, without pre-tense, and that is where you will find your success.

With love,

Anna Signature handwritten with a kiss

If you’re wondering how to access and channel your authentic creativity you’re going to love my next post… stay tuned!

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