The conversion of the negative

The Sparkle Experiment small creative play equals connection

Avoiding negative feelings while making art can be counterproductive to your growth. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Creativity says “every feeling that you have, every negative feeling, is in a way precious. It is your building material, it’s your stone, it’s something you use to build your work.”

He explains the idea of conversion of the negative as being a valuable tool in the creative process and that pain has value: “the conversion of the negative is very important. So I taught myself what I try to teach my students who are becoming writers: don’t duck pain. It’s precious, it’s your gold mine, it’s the gold in your mine.”

While it’s uncomfortable to have negative thoughts about while making art, it offers valuable self reflection and fuel to move forwards. From the negative – frustration about something “not working” – comes a spark of inspiration about what to do next. By rushing through the negative, you may skip vital insights that allows you to grow as an artist.