Friday, October 2, 2009
Our Artful Species
Sandy MoreDoh said, Do you give lectures on how to get your creative energy back?
Oh yeah. I'll give a lecture on anything at a moment's notice whether I know what I'm talking about or not. Be very careful what you ask for!
I believe everyone has bucketsful of creative energy. The popularity of books like The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (she has a website, too) would seem to contradict my theory, but her book, which is excellent, seems to me to be more about learning how to loosen up, how to let go of self-consciousness, than about finding some allegedly "lost" creativity.
Some people simply can't see or recognize their own creativity. To those folks I suggest that they take the time to remember their dreams. What could be more artfully imaginative? Sometimes all you have to do is notice that you're already creative.
For some it's a matter of perfectionism. Yes there will always be someone who is better at painting or dancing or cooking, but you should never let that stop you from doing your own thing. Go ahead and make fun of my singing; I will sing anyway. It is my birthright! Not the singing specifically, but my right to express myself creatively. (Earplugs can be a good solution for the squeamish when I'm in a singing mood. Sometimes even I feel like wearing them. Yet I sing on. Why not?)
Other people don't give themselves any time for creative expression. That's why Cameron's three morning pages is such a great exercise. If you're really too busy to express yourself creatively, something about your life has gone terribly wrong. Why aren't you singing in the shower, making up songs on your drive to work? Creating playlists for your ipod for the commute? Your choice of clothing, hairstyle, make-up can all be outlets for your inner artist and any job - every job - can provide opportunities for creativity. Believe me! Though time is sometimes a deciding factor, I think more often, restricted creative expression is usually about not noticing or self consciousness than a matter of time.
Blogging brings out the creative energy in a truly democratic way. Blogs with themes, blogs without themes, with or without illustrations or photos, anonymous or not - blogging is creative open territory where we each set our own boundaries (sometimes the hard way) and share our lives, views and opinions, drawings, recipes, and photos with each other. All together we create an artists' community unlike any that has existed until now.
Sandy, just let 'er rip, write whatever you want - here in the comments section, on your own blog (if you have one), around the borders of your grocery shopping list. Switch on the music and dance around, go get The Artist's Way. Your creative energy is right there, just waiting to be accessed, or noticed. You go girl. Oh yeah.