I don't think there is any national holiday for creativity - like we need another occasion to guilt us into buying cards! But let's pretend today is National Creativity Day and I'm writing this blog to raise awareness of our inner creative. So, here is a peek into the mind of an artist, well this artist anyway...
I believe we were made to be creative because we were created by a Creator. Not all of us are 'creative' if defined as 'artistic', but I think all of us have imagination, envisioning things that are not and desiring to bring them to be... whether it be having children, concocting recipes, starting businesses, writing books, building tools, composing music or creating art. My husband has recently begun to pursue his passion for fine guitar building; he cannot stop thinking about it! He doesn't even want to take a vacation for crying out loud! Even though this puts a cramp in my 'gotta-get-away,' I love seeing him doing what he is so clearly made to do.
Now guitars aren't really my thing. I am an artist. Through the years I have dabbled in various media from watercolor to calligraphy, and even owning my own faux painting and mural business. But I have always loved gorgeous patterned papers. I mean, who doesn't? Doesn't everyone drool over the luscious sheets displayed at Paper Source? But I never really had a good reason to buy all the ones I loved. I guarded the sheets I had like they were spun out of gold. The first time I tore into one of my few sheets in order to use it for a collage, I felt like I was breaking the law! But the patterns worked out so perfectly and working with the various colors and prints was so much fun, I was hooked. I still treasure my papers and save even very tiny scraps for use on the next piece. When a new order of papers arrive, I can't wait to unroll them and examine each one.
The hard truth is just because you discover something you feel particularly called to or just plain love doing, doesn't mean it will be easy! I think probably anything valuable we create requires some level of blood, sweat and tears. Just like having a baby is one of the hardest things a woman will ever do, being creative in any realm is risky and difficult. You are taking something from your mind and heart and offering it up to others' scrutiny.
Art is so subjective. I can recognize that something may take immense talent but remain completely unmoved by it. A book or piece of music enraptures one person and bores another. That is the nature of art. The hope of course is always that everyone would love your work and give you nothing but affirmation, but that is just not reality. I have walked through artist's studios and walked right past one person's work and then stood mesmerized by another's. It is always a joy to connect with someone on taste, but it cannot be the reason you make art. If it becomes the reason, you will be stuck trying to figure out what others want you to create and lose the joy and passion that made you want to create in the first place.
My creative process is full of joy and anticipation but also a battle with the voice that says "no one will like this. It is terrible. You are terrible. Why are you even pretending to be an artist?" I have to constantly remind myself to live dangerously and keep going. So, whatever your creative bent is, get out there and be creative, don't let that voice win!
- Julie, collage & fine artist for Freely Collective