How to Tint Your Glasses: Staying Creative When the World Wants You to Grow Up

In our society, growing up means maturing, letting go of all things that are playful, becoming serious about your life, and making more time for work and school. In doing so, we are letting the left side of the brain (our “analytical thinking and logic”) overpower us rather than responding to the right side of the brain (our “art awareness, creativity, intuition, and imagination). The big question we should be asking ourselves is whether our routine is killing our creativity. I don't mean just your ability to paint or to make films. In this context, creativity is letting go of everything that is shrinking your voice and letting your art embody a revolution in an alternative and original way. Creativity is honoring your mistakes and never aiming for perfection because there isn't a massage or beauty within something as simple as perfect. When we grow up we lose our ability to play, to paint, to just believe in our mistakes. Instead, we grow up never being happy with our work because it isn't “perfect” or believing that creativity isn't as permanent as intelligence.

I want to debunk that idea and provide you a list of what you can do to tint your glasses; change your perspective; see the world and yourself differently for the sake of nurturing your left side of the brain and living a creative and happy life.

1.   Normalize your mistakes while making art. Yes— you can work on them and try to perfect whatever you're bad at. But who is saying your “mistake” is messing up everything you worked on previously? Give your supposed errors a chance before completely disregarding them.

2.   Stop shrinking yourself. This one is especially directed to the young girls reading this article. STOP SHRINKING YOURSELF, YOUR ART, AND YOUR GOALS. Yes, there are personal experiences, current events, and a great deal of systematic oppression that are signifying to us that we shouldn't take up that much space or be so loud. Don't listen to any of them. One way to stop doing so is by expanding your palette. If you have always painted on 8x10 canvas, work with an 18x24 for the first time and TAKE UP ALL THE SPACE. If you usually stick to presenting your films in school, submit one to a film festival. Watch your film TAKING UP ALL THE SPACE on a big screen. As a writer, take up as much space as possible on paper. Use all the lines and fill the gaps with mixed media. Make your work a visual representation of yourself and once you start letting your art take up space, you too will do the same. Always think bigger.

3.   Stay unfiltered. When you were young, you didn't have to think twice about what games you were going to play or what jokes you were going to make or what your art looked like. Everything was art and that's all that mattered. I'm asking you to tap into that energy by refusing to filter your emotions and thoughts when you are making your art. This mindset works in conjunction with the previous piece of advice. When you think bigger, you allow yourself room to be unfiltered. In contrast, smaller ideas and projects are simply honing in on a sense of insecurity and uncertainty that is hindering your ability to take up as much space as possible. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of your art or whether or not you will get publicity for your work. Be true to yourself and your art before expecting audiences to give you that validation.

Good luck!

By Natalia Mercedes Rodriguez


  1. ok yes i definitely needed this
    the "taking up space" concept is definitely sticking with me
    this is INCREDIBLY well written, it cleared my head a little if that makes sense