Creating Space Where You Can Create
Three Tricks to Create Brave Space from Makayla Binter
“This is not good enough.” “What are you doing? “Why do you even try?” “Who do you think you are?”
Do these questions sound like ones you ask yourself? Too often, we’re our strongest critics when we should be our own biggest champions.
But, how do you create your own brave space to be creative? I’m working on it.
ONE: BEING BAD CAN BE GOOD.
First, I let myself be bad at whatever I am doing. (That takes practice. But, once you get the hang of it, it’s liberating.)
There is so much comfort in being bad at something because we aren’t meant to be perfect at everything. We have a tendency to cut ourselves down before we have even tried because “trying” means we might “fail.” (I put that in quotation marks because the definition of “failure” deserves its own future editorial.)
Every time I get started on something, I dump out whatever it is that I am afraid of. If I am starting a painting and am terrified of it not being good, I jump in with a splatter. No time to think, control or judge. It’s a natural move and reaction.
Even as I write this, I let the consciousness flow. I can edit this later, but not getting started will never get it done. No matter how you start, scribble, chop vegetables or whatever way you decide to use your creative powers, just jump in.
TWO: … NOPE.
Next, when I feel myself starting to judge myself, l literally say “nope.”
It changes day by day, but “nope” halts my negative thoughts. It creates the inner silence I need to create. At the end of the day, these judgments and critiques are not mine. They are the words of other people, the internalized fears and projections of others that I have absorbed and am reflecting back to myself.
So, the moment I hear the critique, the angst and judgment creep in, I stop it with a simple … “Nope.”
There is so much power that comes from protecting my inner creative – the person who I connect with when I am making. It’s so much easier to feed into the negative thoughts of the inner critic, but think of who that inner critic is talking to. Imagine if someone spoke to your best friend like that. You wouldn’t, would you? Exactly. Moving on.
Of course, this is not an easy process. It’s not one thing that fixes all. But, it’s the way I allow myself to be brave with myself, so that I can allow others to be brave with me. Creating that space takes time.
THREE: GIVE YOURSELF GRACE.
Lastly, I give myself grace (when I remember to do that). Grace is tough because we are constantly in motion; the world will not stop for any of us, and the people we follow on social media may never seem to stop, either.
In the presence of grace, you can close your eyes and breathe and relax your shoulders. Unclench your jaw. Take a big stretch. We won’t always be able to allow ourselves to be bad at something. We won’t always be able to stop our inner judgments.
The key is being able to give yourself the good will you’d likely offer others.
This editorial was written by Makayla Binter, communications manager from Charlotte Is Creative.
It’s a busy time in Charlotte’s creative community with some paid work and new funding sources opening up and others drawing to a close. We want to make sure you don’t miss out.
THREE PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES
Here are some available applications (and deadlines) for paid creative work in the market.
ONE: CMS Art Instructors Needed – ROLLING APPLICATION
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is looking for local creatives to assist with art instruction at various school levels. Opportunities exist for substitute teaching and guest teaching. There are also opportunities for residencies. LEARN MORE & APPLY.
TWO: Charlotte SHOUT! 2023 – DUE OCT. 10 (BE FAST!)
Charlotte SHOUT! is returning to the Queen City March 31 through April 16 of next year. Applications are open now for a wide array of paid work for visual artists, performing artists, musicians, danders, illumination artists and projection-mapping creatives. There is also an open category for creative ideas. Applications are due this coming Monday. LEARN MORE & APPLY.
THREE: The Be With – DUE NOV. 18
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church is looking for a visual artist to help create a new work of art along their Stations of the Cross. This is the second year of this paid program. LEARN MORE & APPLY.
THREE AVAILABLE FUNDS
ONE: BEYOND OPEN – DUE OCT. 28
Foundation For The Carolinas, with support from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, has announced a new fund, “Beyond Open,” to help small businesses (including creative businesses) grow in Mecklenburg County. The fund has a special focus on minority-, women-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned small businesses. Available funds range from $5,000 to more than $250,000. LEARN MORE & APPLY.
TWO: Opportunity Fund – ROLLING APPLICATIONS
The City of Charlotte has announced a new offshoot of the Infusion Fund. The Opportunity Fund provides support of up to $50,000 for near-term creative programs and initiatives, especially those pairing a larger cultural organization and a smaller group or individual creative. LEARN MORE & APPLY.
THREE: Helping Hand HUG – ROLLING APPLICATIONS
This is a recent offshoot of the HUG Micro-Grant Program powered by the LendingTree Foundation. This HUG will provide charitable groups, or creatives working with charitable groups, with $300 credit at the Charlotte Community Tool Bank. This credit translates to $10,000 in real-world rentals of equipment of all kinds, ranging from hammers, drills and paintbrushes to tents, tables and chairs. APPLY HERE.
The release of the findings generated by Creative Business Survey with UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute have given the creative community a lot to think about … and talk about. Our founders, Matt Olin and Tim Miner, were guests on two podcasts recently to discuss the impact and the application of the survey’s findings. Listen in!
ONE: Decoding the Creative Podcast
Hosts Ray Hartsfield and Ben Evans spoke with Olin and Miner about the importance of advocating for arts, culture and creativity and for treating creatives like small businesses. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.
TWO: Future Charlotte Podcast
Miner and Olin spoke with host Ely Portillo of UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute about how Charlotte can better value and grow its creative community. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.
THREE: And … Ali Loncar-Bridges on QC at 3
Olin also had the opportunity to introduce the team at WBTV’s QC Life team to the work of visual artist, Ali Loncar Bridges. They also discussed Loncar-Bridges work with her husband to create new affordable living space in the Queen City. WACTH THE SEGMENT.
Enjoy Music to Create With
The Charlotte music scene is bursting with talent, but it doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. That’s why we’ve unveiled a monthly Spotify series featuring a cultivated list of local music we love. LISTEN HERE.
This playlist features:
- “You” – Gabriel Jules
- “Nearer to You” – Emily Sage
- “Scraped Knees” – Natalie Carr
- “Dopamine “- Nia J
- “EAT (Remix)” – Cyanca & Elevator Jay
- “Cruisin'” – Mercedes Monique
- “Come Down” – Quantrelle, DJ Luke Nasty & Chris O’Bannon
- “Bigger Dreams” – Greg Cox & Blanche J
- “Never Again” – Curt Keyz
And, because there’s never enough music to play while creating, we’ve also created “The Surge” playlist built with recommendations from Charlotte creatives. We asked, “What music do you listen to when you create?” And, the creative community answered. LISTEN HERE.
PHOTO ABOVE by Dionna Bright
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