Do you ever feel like your introverted nature is holding you back from achieving your creative aspirations? If so, you’re not alone. In this blog post, we explore the strengths of being a creative introvert with the help of Margaret Soraya, a highly acclaimed photographer and introvert herself. Contrary to popular belief, being introverted can actually be a huge advantage for creative individuals. From having a rich inner world to being able to focus deeply on their art, introverts possess unique qualities that allow them to excel in the creative realm. So, if you’re an introvert looking to harness your creativity, keep reading as we delve into the incredible strengths that lie within.
The Strengths of being a Creative Introvert (feat. Margaret Soraya)
This episode is sponsored by Squarespace. Whether you need a domain, website, or online store, make your next move with Squarespace.
I met Margaret on our first creative Retreat which we ran last year in June in Tuscany, and I noticed two things straight away. One, she was the person in the group who chose not to come with us to the local towns when we took a day trip out. Instead, she decided to stay back at the retreat center to spend proper alone time and do processing. That really impressed me because she obviously knew what Retreats were really about.
The second thing I noticed about Margaret was her love for being in the water. If we ever lost Margaret, we were pretty sure we’d find her in the swimming pool. She would put her notebook next to the swimming pool and would do laps, stopping to jot down some thoughts and notes. She would do this for hours. The more I spoke to her, the more I realized she is a secure introvert, a creative who knows exactly what she needs to stay mentally healthy so that she can keep on creating.
This year, when she came back for our second creative Retreat, I found out that she has moved herself to the remote island of Harris. She wanted to carve out that space for herself to keep creating and to focus specifically on making images in the water with her camera that convey a sense of peace and tranquility that being in the water brings. I thought Margaret would be a great person to talk to, not only about how she makes the images that she does and how she fills them with the mood she intends to convey, but also about how she structures her life as an introverted creative person.
So, I took the long drive up to ooloolol in Scotland and then took the ferry across to the Isle of Harris to sit down with her and ask her these questions. As usual with these little documentary films, I’m going to leave Margaret’s images to the end, and I’m saying that up front because I know that frustrates some of you, as you’ve told me in the comments. But there is a purpose behind it because I think a photographer’s images hit so much harder if you hear their story first and understand where they’re really coming from. So, I hope you have the patience to wait until the end to see her work. But I’m going to shut up now and let you hear from my friend, Margaret Soraya.
Margaret’s Journey as a Photographer
When I was young, I was always drawing and painting, so I was sort of central in Manchester and I just wanted to paint the countryside. So, I decided that I was going to learn to drive and then I was going to buy a camera. I bought a camera basically so I could go out and photograph the landscape and then come back and paint from it. So, that was really where photography started for me. It was kind of a means to painting.
I went to college to do fine art painting, but I didn’t get on very well with the degree, so I switched over to photography. I ended up in Swansea studying photography. I didn’t stay very long at Swansea, just one year. I found it very difficult. I found the critique sessions really difficult. I was quiet and not very articulate. I wasn’t able to understand very well what I was doing, but what I was doing was photographing very intuitively. I was taking my camera out on the surfboard with me, but it wasn’t well-received by my teachers. They just saw me coming into lectures with wet hair and a surfboard on my roof, so I left after a year.
At that point, I put my cameras down for quite a number of years. When I had my second child, I decided I was going to start a business in photography. So, there was a 10-year gap from putting the cameras down after University to my son being born and me deciding to start the business up. It was around that time that my marriage broke up, and I was left with nowhere to go and nowhere to live. Starting the photography business allowed me to support my two boys. As the years went on and I gained more freedom with the children, I was able to be out in the landscape more, which is where my passion lies.
The Strengths of Being an Introvert
Growing up, I was fairly quiet and shy, and I always felt a little bit like a lesser person because of it. Maybe I was made to feel a little bit not quite as good as the people who spoke up and were gregarious. When I was 35, I came out of my marriage and had this period of looking around at myself and really looking in-depth at who I was. I read a book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, and I just suddenly understood myself. I realized that being an introvert was actually a positive trait. From then on, my self-acceptance and self-awareness climbed, and my confidence climbed with it.
I started to realize that being alone was when I was most creative. So, it wasn’t long before I bought a van and started traveling to Harris. Because it’s very quiet over here, I could find pockets of places where I could park with no signal, so I could have a couple of days in the van completely cut off from everything. My family life was quite demanding and intense at the time, so it was a really good opportunity to come away and create. I noticed that when I had times away completely by myself, that’s when I had my best creative thoughts and ideas. That’s when I started writing. Traveling alone also allowed me to be more creative because the solo time meant that I had more time to work on whatever I wanted to and have time and space for these thoughts to come out.
The Importance of Self-Acceptance and Self-Care
Over the years, I’ve realized that as an introvert, I need to understand myself. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. It’s actually a positive thing. It also doesn’t mean that you’re shy. You can stand up in front of an audience of 200 people if you have purpose behind it. But you also need to allow time for recovery. Giving space to myself has been the most important thing. If I have an event coming up, I always carve out that space. For example, when I run a retreat, I have two days at the end where I’m completely alone.
Understanding the importance of self-care as an introvert has helped me maintain a healthy creative life. I have learned to prioritize alone time and to create boundaries, allowing myself the space I need to thrive creatively. By doing so, I have noticed a significant improvement in the quality of my work and my overall well-being.
Being a creative introvert has its strengths. It allows for deep introspection, increased creativity, and the ability to create unique and meaningful work. Margaret Soraya is a perfect example of someone who has embraced her introverted nature and has used it to fuel her creative endeavors. By understanding her own needs and carving out spaces for herself, she has been able to flourish as an artist. Her images, filled with tranquility and peace, are a testament to the power of being a creative introvert.
Frequently Asked Questions – The Strengths of being a Creative Introvert
Q: Who is Margaret Soraya?
A: Margaret Soraya is a renowned artist and author who specializes in working with introverted individuals to help them realize and harness their creative potential.
Q: What are the strengths of being a creative introvert?
A: Being a creative introvert comes with several strengths, including:
- Deep reflection and introspection, leading to unique and innovative ideas.
- Increased focus and concentration, allowing for enhanced creativity and attention to detail.
- Strong ability to empathize and understand others, which can enhance storytelling and artistic expression.
- Independent and self-sufficient nature, enabling creative introverts to work well autonomously.
Q: How can being a creative introvert be an advantage in the professional world?
A: Creative introverts often excel in creative fields such as art, writing, design, and music. Their introspective nature allows them to deeply connect with their work and create meaningful pieces. Additionally, they can bring a unique perspective and originality to their projects, setting them apart from others in their field.
Q: Are there any challenges faced by creative introverts?
A: While being a creative introvert has its strengths, there can be challenges, such as:
- Difficulty in promoting their work and self-promotion in general.
- Potential for social anxiety or feeling drained in social settings, which may hinder networking opportunities.
- Struggles with finding a balance between solitude and collaboration, as both are important for growth and creativity.
Q: How can creative introverts maximize their strengths?
A: Creative introverts can optimize their strengths by:
- Engaging in regular self-reflection and introspection to fuel their creative process.
- Seeking out networking opportunities that align with their interests and comfort level.
- Creating a supportive community of like-minded individuals who understand and appreciate their introverted nature.
- Utilizing social media and online platforms to showcase their work and connect with a wider audience.
Q: How can I learn more about Margaret Soraya’s work?
A: You can visit Margaret Soraya’s official website or follow her on social media platforms to get updates on her latest projects, workshops, and resources.
I hope you find useful my article The Strengths of being a Creative Introvert (feat. Margaret Soraya), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.
Best of luck! and follow your passion.
Please consider joining my newsletter or following me on social media if you like my content.