Most people look at newbies or people who are new to something, negatively. Newbies are seen as lacking knowledge, always needing help, and not worth the time of experienced people. This most certainly goes for artistic pursuits; many times, I’ve seen experienced artists of every type look down on the “newbs” in their field, as if they have no talent or aren’t worth even talking to.
But, in my opinion, being a “newb” at something doesn’t mean you won’t have any talent for it. In fact, I’ve found that instead of my own newbish-ness getting in the way of learning more, I feel freer to explore whatever I’m trying to learn. I’m not yet so “experienced” that I’m locked into thinking a certain way or always doing things a certain way. Creatively speaking, being a newb can actually be more fun and more enlightening.
Newbs Have More Fun! (And Make Better Art)
Why do I say that being a newb is more creative and enlightening? Because as artists, as creative people, we can get sucked into the trap of “creating what other people like” or “creating art that sells” instead of “creating what we want.” We can easily fall for doing things the way other people have done them, just because the other people were successful and we want to be successful, too.
The bad thing about following the crowd in this way is that it can kill your desire to do art for yourself, as I have found out with my novel and my webdesign. Try to please others too often and for too long, and you end up completely dissatisfied with your soulless work.
But allowing yourself to be a newb, or getting back to a newb state of mind, can free you from this constrained thinking, and thus get you back into creating what makes you happy and what expresses your thinking the best. For example:
- Visual Art: Being an art newb means you can paint, draw, sketch, and/or sculpt any way you please; you aren’t constrained by the “laws of the Masters” or what’s currently avant-garde.
- Music: Being a music newb means you can put chords and melodies together according to what sounds good to YOU, not what sounds good to some dusty expert, or even what other musicians think.
- Dance: Being a dance newb means you can try out different poses and motions without worrying that it’s not part of a “traditional” dance routine, and without trying to do moves that you physically can’t do yet.
- Drama/Theater: Being a drama/theater newb means you are free to play any kind of role you want and explore many different characters without being typecast yet.
Creativity is All About “Thinking Outside the Box”–Why Put Your Art in a Box, Then?
In essence, being a “newb” at art means that you’re still defining your style, still exploring your art, and still having fun with it. The moment you lose that sense of wonder and exploration for your art is the moment the artistic sense in you wilts, in my opinion. See: my novel, and my increasing difficulty with writing it because I’m afraid nobody will “like it enough.” As soon as that fear crept in, writing slowed to a crawl for me.
But it is possible to get your “newb groove” back, as I have written about recently. Just allow yourself to experience art the way you used to, allow yourself to be childlike and “newbish” all over again. You’d be surprised how well this works! After all, yours truly just wrote a new page in her novel. 🙂