Three steps to cross your creative threshold

I've struggled with this concept in the past, both as a designer and writer. The concept of "creative threshold", or when the right time is to share your work. To show what you're doing on a personal project.

Most of us don't have the resources to do endless iterations or have a thorough, professional analysis done on our creative work. But we have to get it out to the world to show what we've done. When is the right time? When do we know we've reached the point where we can show our work?

Ultimately, it comes down to the questions you're trying to answer, and the end goal you have in mind. 

So, if we want to show more work, then what do we have to do?

1. Get used to it

Pushing ‘Publish’ consistently makes you get used to getting out there, showing your work. Even if it’s not perfect, showing your work often can make you less sensitive to criticism and more importantly, allow others to get to know you and your craft.

How are people supposed to get into your work if you’re a ghost, behind a thick veneer of coldness, or self-doubt? Your dedication and passion is impressive, and you need to get it out there. Show your work often. Publish, publish, publish. This builds a certain power, a fortitude - and through this you can move your art forward into the world.

2. Ask

Ask for feedback, ask for help, for resources. This can sometimes be so hard, but if we’re going to get better, and show work we need to ask the people around us to help.

No one can become successful alone. And you need to get used to asking for others for advice, for help, to simply look at your work or to talk. To move your work forward.

But what if you’re a painter and don’t know any other painters? Or any other writers? Or any other interior designers? Then use social media like Instagram or Twitter, or go to art stores/schools, bookstores, poetry readings, home decorating shops, - any which way, get out there. Ask for help. You’ll need it.

3. Use grit

Grit is the least understood, but most powerful weapon in pursuing one’s art. But to produce work regularly doesn’t come easy. One must set a schedule, and stick with it, and not allow the outside world to become a threat to the ideas and imagination and plans you have within.

Television shows, the news, social media, the phone, certain relationships - all of these can be devastating to your craft, your work. You need to get a handle on them and understand how they’re affecting your craft.

Be conscientious about how you spend your time by using ad-blockers on your browser or putting your phone in the other room. Do whatever you can to continue. Because sometimes brute force alone can take you to the next level. 

So... what are you waiting for? Get to work. And then show us.

For a great book on this topic, check out Austin Kleon's "Show Your Work"