Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Creativity

Enso Circle in guache. 
Enso is a Zen Buddhist symbol of infinity, of harmony, of the perfect void.

I am a believer in the fact that everyone is blessed with creativity. Some are obvious, such as with visual artists, musicians, or writers. Others are creative in their dress or home décor, their meal planning, or in problem solving. No matter how you look at creativity, it is a treasure to express.

In teaching visual art, I have come across many people who get stuck in the mindset of “I can't” when they are trying to express a thought or feeling. Frustration can bubble up to the surface, in an adult as easily as it can a child, and cause the inner brat to literally scream out in despair. But it doesn't have to ruin their day. Through gentle encouragement and patience, one can work past the block to a place of joyous expressing again, quickly too!

I have found that the mind is a bully, a narcissistic showoff, a demanding child. Our brains can insist we pay attention to the thoughts in our heads. Our thoughts can dictate our next emotion as well. Once the thoughts are in the naysayer mode, the emotional side usually follows close by.

So when I am frustrated with an art or writing project, I find it helps to stop the gears, switch up what I am doing, and move on to something different. If I over-ride the brainwaves of frustration and re-send them on a new path, I find that 99% of the time, it frees me up enough to get back to what I was struggling with initially, even more passionately and with more ideas of how to execute my intention. Other times, I find the “new” thing incredibly satisfying and may stick with that one instead, or do both!

The Chubaca-bank was not my "usual" forte, 
but I had a blast making it when my students were sculpting...
and what's better than fun?

It is helpful to have someone by your side, encouraging you to add more ochre yellow, take some clay off the right side, or put the pen down, but not everyone has that option. We have to do this for ourselves. We have to be our own cheering section, our own mentor, our own guide. We can also ask for assistance from the collective soup, deities, or whomever we believe in. We can also meditate to access our deepest spring of inspiration, our inner Godzilla*.

Call upon whatever Muse you chose!

It is one of my callings to inspire creativity in others. To be the teacher/mentor I always wanted and needed. To help draw out in others what I see in them, the wealth of creativity and inspiration that lies within us all!

Kid-made Animal Banks... HOORAY!

If you are hesitant about drawing, because someone, 18 years ago, made a snarky comment about your art, let it go. Get the drawing pad out, and go at it. If you want to take a pottery class, but your family may laugh, don't mention it to them, but enroll. Whatever is holding you back from being creative, no matter how grand or menial- it can be a thing of the past...

But honor you exactly where you are at.

There was only one Michelangelo, one DaVinci, and

there is only one you.

*More about Godzilla soon!


  1. Excellent post! Creativity is my specialty. I might not be any good at it, but I'm still doing it!

    Have fun with the challenge! This was great!

  2. I quit my job as a security guard so I could do an arts course at the start of this year with absolutely no regrets except there seems to be a lack of Absinthe and Opium parties. :)

  3. You both are so very creative and detailed... I would love a day together in the studio!


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