Fulfilling Potential: 5 Ways For Black Men To Develop Their Creative Style & Art
Fulfilling your potential as a stylish and sophisticated Black man in 2022 can take different forms – from dressing elegantly at work to embracing interesting pursuits on your own time. What’s most important though is to avoid the constraints of conventions. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t embrace the latest styles, or aim for traditional hallmarks of success. But the key is to develop your own creative style, and cultivate an image that is not just successful, but innovative and artistic. The goal is to attain success and present an impressive image – but to do it, in our age of ever-evolving personal expression, in your own way.

Here are a few tips that might help you with these efforts.

Focus Less on Tech and More on Style

These days, the number of options available when it comes to building your sense of style can be overwhelming. One way to overcome this is to pay attention to current trends, but focus on your own personal preferences. For example, while your friends are probably trying to show off their most recent smart watches, you can add a sophisticated wristwatch as an accessory that is meant to be a statement piece rather than an extension of your phone on your wrist. It’s little, individual touches like these that say: I am not just fashionable; I am independently stylish.

 Don’t Be Afraid of the Casual Look

Society has taught us that wearing a suit is the ultimate way to make a good impression and look professional. The only issue is that people tend to assume that the opposite is true of casual looks –– but today, nothing could be further from the truth. Stars as classy as Idris Elba continually show us that something as simple as a white t-shirt and a pair of chinos can make for a stylish look on an average day out of the office. So trust your instincts and don't be afraid to break out your casual looks. Let your taste speak for itself, and wear your clothes with confidence.

Learn a New Skill

It’s not all about fashion. And sometimes men who feel like they aren’t expressing themselves or tapping into their creativity feel this way because they lack the proper outlets for that expression. For this reason, another great way to work on developing your true self and letting out your expression is to learn a new skill – be it writing, drawing, or even coding. Look into game design, start a book of poems, or work your way through a sketchbook….

Really, there are no limits as to what you might try. But whatever interests you, it may surprise you to learn how rewarding a new skill can be as a creative pursuit.

Consider an Artistic Career

There’s a belief among many that men are supposed to pursue careers in fields perceived as serious or “manly,” like business, finances, or law – and that any career that doesn’t require you to wear a suit should be avoided. However, while there’s nothing wrong with those careers, sometimes finding your own style and expressing your persona requires that you go your own way, so to speak – and potentially find something more demanding of your creativity.
There are various careers in digital media that fit this description and provide good job opportunities – such as graphic design, digital media, and even UX specializations. Jobs like these help you to tap into your own vision and create a true portfolio of work that is uniquely yours. Meanwhile, if digital creativity isn’t your thing, the widespread transition to remote work has also led to more people pursuing fields like writing, and artistic design – both of which you can get into in a freelance capacity. And there is also a push to get more men into teaching jobs – which tap into creativity and expression more than just about anything!

We could go on, but the bottom line is that if you feel creatively unfulfilled in your job, there are options through which you can find a truer form of professional expression.  

Try Creative Hobbies

Finally, think about what you’re really getting out of your hobbies. Because while media and ads are constantly bombarding us with images of men preparing barbecues or working with wood, the notion of a traditional manly hobby is evolving. While the aforementioned activities and others of their ilk remain common (or at least commonly recommended), it’s becoming less unusual for men to branch out.

Today – perhaps in part due to the pandemic and those long, lonely hours we all had to fill – men appear to be pursuing just about every hobby under the sun. Maybe you want to research, plant, and look after your own vegetable garden. Or maybe you finally want to teach yourself how to play a guitar, or create high-quality illustrations of your favorite film characters. Whatever interests you, go ahead and give it a real shot! A hobby is a form of personal creative expression, and all too many men forget it in order to focus on what they feel they should enjoy.
Ultimately, it’s all about how you want to express yourself. But we hope these tips will help you toward unleashing your stylish, creative persona as a modern-day Black man.

Article contributed by Jenny Roth exclusively for A Few Wood Men.

April 26, 2022