OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Art outside “Your Art”

Outside of my personal aspirations for becoming a professional designer/creative, and my current role as a Solutions Project Coordinator, I am also a passionate break dancer/b-boy.

Photo of Tim Lee Chen
2 3

Written by

Looking at my last few years at University and post-University, I reflected back on how I personally increased my creative confidence and what has increased my personal confidence in general... It was the art and craft I took on and practiced outside of my normal 'creative' activity that boosted my day-to-day creative confidence.

Using dance as an example, I started taking dance classes during University, evolving from what was initially just an interest in hip-hop to becoming a full participant and becoming a break dancer myself. Being a bit of an introvert, I always voiced myself minimally in class, always wanted to present last in class, and was shy even when presenting ideas that I thought had merit. However, as I got immersed into the world of dance, without knowing it, I was subconsciously going on a 'creative vent' that directly boosted my creative confidence. As I danced more and more, I noticed that I became more active in class, volunteering to present not last, and putting my ideas out there more frequently. Reflecting back on this now, my belief is that everyone struggles with creative confidence, especially when it comes to having the creative confidence for doing the things that you hold with high value, whether it's your 'art/craft' or your future career. Dancers and actors might get stage freight, artists and designers might fear critiques.. But I believe by practicing and taking on other creative activities/hobbies, we will calm ourselves from our worries, which empowers us with day-to-day creative confidence. Break dancing taught me many things: how to present myself with confidence in front of others, how to think creatively on the spot under pressure, and just how to feel comfortable doing something that I love without worrying about what others think. I learned to "dance like nobody's watching" both literally in dance and in my life outside of dance.

Maybe a dancer who paints outside of dance can learn a few things?  Vice versa, maybe a painter could learn a few things by indulging in the art of dance?  Maybe finding joy when exploring other creative avenues will boost one's creative confidence.

The video that I'm sharing along with this comment serves as a perfect example for this concept. It portrays each individual in their day-to-day element, but each of them dances confidently with a unique style because it is their art outside their art.


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


How wonderful that you found this way towards creative confidence! I had a similar experience and I think that you can apply this attitude to anything, even something that is not necessarily creative in the 'traditional' sense. Just doing something completely different, you can find confidence because, like you say, you don't feel that self conscious.

View all comments