Whatever Will Be, Will Be

Whatever Will Be, Will Be
Fear. Anxiety. Nervousness. Caution. These words are often what we use describe how we feel when we embark on a new path in life, trying something new we’ve never done before. These feelings are inevitable, but how we respond makes all the difference to whether they get the best of us or not.

I grew up with a fairly straight path to becoming a creative. That’s not to say I didn’t have to struggle to get to where I am today. I just mean that I’ve always known I wanted to use my creative talent to make a living and to ultimately make an impact on the world. When I was young, I worried about the viability of a creative career. That was because at the time I had not realized what kind of creative I wanted to be. But one thing I was determined to do at a young age was figure it out and define my path one day at a time.

As a kid, I was committed to the process of exploring my creativity applied to several mediums. I tried drawing and painting first. My first mentor was a man named Dane Tilghman. He is humble gentleman, but I’ll be the first to praise his work as a premier painter of the African American experience in the United States. As I dabbled in painting under his lessons, I found a love for the graphic shapes of his work. Dane’s work often abstracted the human figure to emphasize the emotions and the movement of his subjects. I felt very compelled to mirror his style at a young age. And although I didn’t become a painter later in life, I every now and again pick up a brush and recall his lessons for fun. I will say this, painting with acrylics is intimidating and forgiving at the same time. You commit yourself to a blank canvas as you shape a moment, a story, a gesture. Naturally my lessons in painting taught me the importance of iterative process, but also the importance of committing to trying again and again.

Creatives must have space to experiment and play with their identity and their ideas in an open and supportive environment. It’s how they overcome fear, anxiety, and nerves. Creatives also must experience their work in the real world. There’s a heightened sense of vulnerability when you share your perspective, your art, and your vision with the world. A freeing forfeit of control. I say freeing because whether you like it or not what you feel about your ideas and creations will inevitably evolve for better or for worse as you begin to experience what people think about your ideas. That’s why critique is important in any process of developing a dream, a vision or idea. Informed criticism of what you think, believe, and create, is a vital part of collaboration. In my previous article, I discussed the value of listening to others can present when we truly understand the core of an idea to make it better. Being able to discuss ideas openly affords creatives the opportunity to guide and maintain creative intent while improving the final form and execution of an idea.

There’s a fundamental difference between control and guidance. To control is to restrain and limit. To guide is to show the way and share openly. There are times where one or the other have merit and often folks confuse one for the other. One can limit and control changes to their vision, resisting new iterations. Sometimes that’s warranted. One can also create the parameters for new ideas to be brought to the table, and in that, discover new iterations of an original vision. It depends on the creative, but also their personal attitude towards the value others can contribute to their perspective. I am personally in favor of the latter approach. The more I can glean from other reactions and responses to my dream, idea or vision, the more opportunities I have to discover something stronger than my own siloed thoughts. Dreams are realized when there’s a community behind them to help support their growth. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with curious people.

There are many kinds of curious people. Those we seek to learn what they don’t know. Those who find pleasure in the wonders of the world. Those who observe, listen, and watch others to understand their perspective. And of course, thrill-seekers, those who take risks to experience something new. Which one are you? Curiosity helps us overcome our fears, but more importantly it can in some instances compel us to go further than our comfortable, stable schools of thought. If you can become comfortable with the idea that “whatever will be, will be”, you’ll be more likely to discover new dreams, visions, and ideas both for your benefit and for the benefit of others in your creative circles. Fear and curiosity are constant tensions, but by adopting an attitude that prioritizes process and evolution we can take our dreams to new heights.