I am a working artist and writer and my intention is to try to convey to you the importance of creativity in my life and why I think it should be important to you. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I believe that being a creator is one of the reasons we are here on earth, and when done in the spirit of being our true selves, creating art can be life changing and life affirming, and a heck of a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
We are all creators and we are all internally connected to that "something" that gently or fiercely nudges us to make, do, or be something that was not in existence before and could only be brought forth by "all that is us" at any given moment in time.
What does art avoidance look like?
For years I neglected the urge to play and be creative. I dismissed the need to fool around with paint. I ignored a calling to learn what I was thinking by writing it down on the page. I avoided the importance of creativity at a great cost to my spirit and well-being. I had some great excuses.
One day, I heard about a group of artists in my city that met in a beauty salon to get support for doing art. Compelled to go, I sat on pillows on the floor like everyone else. But, each week, when it was my turn to speak about how I avoided art, even though I craved it like air, I could only sit in mute horror as tears of grief ran down my face and wet the front of my shirt. This went on week after week.
The creative process is not for the feint of heart.
It takes imagination to dream of creating, the brains to solve the problem of making the dream real and then the physical stamina to do the actual work with the tools of your craft. Oh, if only that were all there is to it. Being creative can be a delicious high, but it can also be a perilous and treacherous mountain to climb.
If you want to unleash the hounds of hell, just decide that you are going to commit to an ambitious project; one that stretches your abilities, puts you in the spotlight and then announce to all your friends and family that you won't rest until you have done the deed.
- "Just who do you think you are?
- You have no talent.
- These people are going to see you for the fraud you really are.
- Stop embarrassing yourself."
Do you know that voice? The one in your head that sounds like your old English teacher, your annoying brother-in-law, or your wicked step mother; the voice that knows so much more about your art than you and has never been bashful about sharing an opinion. Your internal critic takes on the voice of authority and can wreck havoc on a budding artistic endeavor and the budding artist.
I call this voice: Blockhead.
Blockhead knows the importance of creativity and thrives on standing between you and all that is good and holy and productive and wonderful about being creative. It lies to you. It loves chaos and drama. It claims it is trying to protect you and keep you from being ridiculed by the world, when it is a champion at ridicule and shame.
Blockhead wants to keep you separate from who you really are and stuck in a version of you it can control. I have lived with Blockhead for lo these many years and I have lost many tragic battles fighting for the importance of my creativity.
My best tool for turning down the volume of Blockhead is to just notice that you have one. With that one realization, you can begin to sift out the criticisms and lies and agendas from the truth and gain the fortitude to just ignore the bossy critic and do what your muse, your intuition and what your inner spirit guides you to do.
Creativity is an important part of who we really are. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Cheering You Artfully On,