Samantha Welker On Finding Creative Confidence

February 19, 2019

Samantha Welker is my friend, but she’s also the business manager of Glitter Guide. She’s a business pro who excels at systems, organization and numbers. She’s even studied at Harvard Business School. She’s the real deal. Except, Sam isn’t just about the operations and numbers. She’s also deeply creative. Every day I’m impressed by something she creates. The problem is she suffers from imposter syndrome. She doesn’t feel like she can actually call herself a “creative.” Slowly, she’s starting to unravel her own self-limiting thoughts and see that creativity lives within all of us. Even if we don’t make a living off our creativity, we all have talents that are waiting to be discovered. Especially, Sam. Her creative soul is just starting to show off and I’m happy to be a witness.

Images by Julia Wheeler

“I get distracted by flowers in the spring. There’s a period of about 3 weeks in the springtime when all the freeways in San Diego are lined with tiny yellow and orange flowers. It’s almost dangerous because something in my brain takes over and transports me to a field of wildflowers instead of a field of brake lights. There’s something about finding tiny pops of beauty where you wouldn’t expect it. I think I’ve always had the same approach to my creativity.

It’s hard not to feel like a copycat these days. What are the chances that what you’re creating hasn’t already been done? Sometimes it all just feels like variations and competitions. Who can make the next big thing, which is really just a better version of a pre-existing thing? I’ve always had that doubt that what I was creating wasn’t good enough to put out into the universe. Because it wasn’t groundbreaking, and it wasn’t necessarily “better.” Nothing I created ever made me feel like I fit in with a specific creative crowd.

 

Nothing I created ever made me feel like I fit in with a specific creative crowd.

 

I think my yearn and desire to excel creatively has made me feel things deeper. When I listen to music, I hear every chord, every crescendo and every beat. Because I know exactly what goes into making those come to life. My whole mind is consumed and distracted when I listen to music, which probably explains a lot about why I sit in silence when working. I feel it because I’ve sat at those 88 keys for countless hours of my 31 years on this earth. Striking those chords feels natural and each note makes stars explode in my mind.

I can’t tell you how many days I’ve taken myself on a date to an art museum just to wander the exhibits the entire afternoon. I’m always drawn to Byzantine imagery and the Art Nouveau age. Gustav Klimt’s “Golden Age” is what my dreams are made of. Artists have always amazed me. To be able to take a literal blank piece of paper or a ball of clay and create something new and original is nothing short of magical.

Words can plant gardens or they can burn forests down. I can spend hours reading Bukowski’s entire catalog. No one made me understand love more than Bukowski and Hemingway. I can’t read books at night because I will forgo all hours of sleep just to finish the story. But I could never find the words as magically as they do. I can feel those same stars explode when they put pen to paper.

So I don’t check every box of a textbook creative. There’s no one area I particularly excel at, but I know I’m creative based on the joy I feel when sharing my heart. Whether that be through words or songs or brushstrokes. But I had to fall in love with myself before I could find my creative confidence.

I think creative confidence goes hand in hand with self-love. Sometimes the world moves too fast and you get lost in the chaos. Motherhood is beautiful, but you have more weight on your frame than you ever have before. So you can’t share your creative magic because you’re too concerned with what you think the world is thinking when they look at you. There’s a quote from Milk + Honey that I have burned into my brain:

“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.”

It’s heartbreaking and beautiful because it forces you to shine a light into two areas of your soul. You can’t nurture one without the other. You can’t have creativity without self-love and you can’t have self-love without creativity. You have to introduce yourself to the colors of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. You have to remind yourself you still have flowers yet to grow.” — Samantha Welker