Object Dar't

September 24, 2011

The Unseen Side of Creativity

There are some days that I wonder how it is that you can be 40-whatever-years-old and still be learning major life lessons. Somewhere in my brain, I imagined that by this age, experience would have taught me well enough that I would have figured life out for the most part. Ironic that it would continually prove me wrong. :)

One of my first "steps" with not much being said.

I've only been painting for a year and a half now. In the very beginning, I painted BADLY. Most of my friends thought I suffered from low self-esteem but in reality, it was simple honesty. I just knew that I was in my infancy and was sure I could do so much better. The same way a toddler instinctively knows that they don't walk well but are compelled to keep doing it until they can run. But to be quite honest, I saw the task of painting well at only its face value: painting well. But there's been SOOOOO much more to it which frankly at my age - shocks me. The process of becoming an artist - someone who receives inspiration and then sets about to express that inspiration - has in fact pervaded almost every area of my life and personality.

More sure-footed with a single feeling expressed

In the beginning, I stupidly thought that I just "liked" drawing or painting the things that sprang from me. I had a few paintings which got the worry out of my brain but after that, it seemed that the inspiration was the liking part and I was simply putting that down on paper through line and color. The end result of creating something happy and loving was just a surprising perk. I have always believed that the happiness in my work was nothing more than a demonstration of my disposition; happy, optimistic and colorful. It has been through my last 3 paintings that I've had this NAGGING suspicion that something else was really going on. This last painting revealed to me that not only has something been going on, but it's profound.

The evolution I've gone through in becoming an artist has honed something. It is undefined, unseen and epicly exciting. I liken it to Sir Isaac Newton and his wacky gravity. The creative process is very much like that invisible force. It can't be described with words or even succinct thoughts - it can only be felt and experienced. And it's only through the experience of having an apple fall on your head that you come to "get it" on a visceral level. Which is great - I'm all for epiphanies. we've all had them before and will probably have them again. But once you have that epiphany, something strange happens without you even realizing it. On an instinctual or primordal level, you begin to play and practice with this invisible thing. You don't have a clue what you are doing. You don't know what it is, how it works and some days even though you question your own sanity about it - you definitely know you are doing something. And strangest of all, is that whatever you are doing - it completely circumvents your rational thinking mind. You are engaging in an exchange with something you can't see, touch or even name. I know it's wacko and no I didn't not just smoke crack. It's the truth. It is as real as gravity and engaging with it changes your life because suddenly the world is no longer flat. You know that if you sail your ship to the edge of the globe - you will not fall off as you once thought but instead will wind up somewhere new/exciting/fantastic. Suddenly all things are possible, which is a crazy, scary, exciting place to be!
There is whole "voice" here that is dialoguing!

And so, I'd like to encourage you to create. I can think of no greater acheivement in life than to open yourself up to the infinite possibilities that come from the creative process. Creativity is accessible to everyone and applicable to every human on the planet in the same way gravity applies to us all. It's there and it's working in your life in small ways but the true benefit comes from opening your life to it in big ways. It's simply a matter of being willing and committed to show up to "create" and allowing yourself to make complete garbage. Just remember the toddler learning to walk. :)