by Mark J Ratcliffe

Celebrating our Differences Creatively

Welcome to my monthly Blog! It is a privilege to write a regular piece for Smart Art Courses and I hope you enjoy what you read. I am sure some pieces will be relatable; some will be thought provoking and some may even resonate with you on a personal level. Each month, I will discuss a particular topic and I wanted to kick off this series with Celebrating our Differences. I have always loved Art and considered myself as being “creative” whether that’s using paint, writing, photography, cooking, baking to name a few examples. In more recent years, as an Abstract Artist working with fluid paint, it occurred to me that we all look for acceptance in our creativity and I wanted to acknowledge that we are all unique and different. And that is totally ok.  

“Will I be liked?”

As artists, we often compare ourselves with peers or those people that really inspire us as we develop and evolve. But what we don’t do often enough is embrace our differences and our individuality. This month’s blog discusses how to celebrate our differences in our creative approach and how practising our own authenticity will impact the creative community we are part of. I am a huge fan of celebrating what we can offer in our own unique way. Art is subjective after all and I think we experience the pressure “to be good” from the outset. I did. When I started my fluid art journey I remember comparing myself to others and thinking “am I good enough?”, “Can I do this?”, “Will I be liked?”. Do we all strive for acceptance no matter what our skills and abilities are? I think we do. I think honestly,  most people do want to be accepted for what we can create and sometimes we will face conflict or not so nice feedback; I’ll touch more upon this in future blogs, but let’s think about how different we are. 

In the world of creativity, each person has their unique way of approaching a problem or coming up with a solution. This could be about painting techniques, materials and mediums used to create a certain style, experimentation to create a signature style, to name a few. Some people like to brainstorm, experiment with materials to learn lessons, investigate curiosity, some prefer to work alone, while some like to collaborate with others. These differences in approach should be embraced and celebrated, as they can lead to more diverse and innovative ideas.

 I just wanted to experience the fun, prove to myself that I can do it and that my contribution to the community was valid.

When we embrace and celebrate our differences, we create a more inclusive environment that encourages people to be their authentic selves. This can have a positive impact on the community, allowing people to feel more comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. We sometimes deliberate and think “should I share my creation”, “what if people don’t like it”, “what if I don’t get any feedback or likes”. By celebrating individuality, we can foster a culture of creativity and innovation, where everyone feels empowered to contribute. Every contribution is valid, and every contribution should be welcomed. I remember when I started my YouTube channel, I showed the process from start to finish using fluid art techniques.  I knew I wasn’t known by many people when I started out, but what really excited me was that online resources, such as YouTube or Facebook, opened up a whole new world to me; I was excited to connect with people that I might not necessarily cross paths with in my everyday life. These people I could learn and even collaborate with. I was excited to connect with like-minded people and I was also thrilled at the thought of connecting with people from different countries that enjoy creating and producing fluid art pieces. I wasn’t deterred from starting that part of my creative journey because there was already a group of established creators – I just wanted to experience the fun, prove to myself that I can do it and that my contribution to the community was valid. I also learned a lot along the way in terms of filming, editing, voice-overs, managing my own resilience. But at the end of the day, for me personally, it’s always been about fun, enjoying the process and enjoying being in the present moment without judgement.  

Moreover, having a diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives can lead to better problem-solving and decision-making. It helps with creativity and removes those barriers or blocks we often find ourselves having. It allows us to see issues from multiple angles and explore different solutions that we may not have considered otherwise. I’ve done it myself, and I like to watch artists on YouTube or other social media platforms experiment and create, allowing me to push my own boundaries and step

outside of my comfort zone to challenge my own thinking. By embracing our differences, we can create a more dynamic and effective approach that can achieve great things.

In conclusion, our creative approach is unique to each of us, and we should embrace and celebrate these differences. Just like a fingerprint – we are all Unique and have our own Identity. By doing so, we can foster a culture of creativity and innovation that encourages people to be their authentic selves, leading to a more inclusive and dynamic community.

Check out Mark’s course on Smart Art Courses – an approach to art and creativity in a mindful way to help relax, unwind and be in the present moment. 

Mark from Mark J Ratcliffe Art  | Artist, Creator & Wellbeing Advocate.

Monthly Blog, written in his own words. @MarkJRatcliffeArt /

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