How To Be Creative

It is easy to get stuck in our thinking of how we are supposed to be creative.

Particularly in online circles, we begin to see similar types of art or phrases or colors or patterns.  Albeit unconsciously, others try to match their creative expression to the types of art or people they see as successful.

Too often, the same types of art are churned out - copy after copy.


I don't think this is intentional.  I truly believe we all long to express ourselves and our own voices.  

Unfortunately, we have lost the art of self awareness.  

We do not hear those voices that are truly ours.  Because we are often afraid to sit with the discomfort that arises from self-examination, we go just deep enough to awaken our desire to self-express....our desires to create.  Believing we don't have the answers, we look to others to tell us how.

How to paint.  How to write.  How to draw a face or imprint color or take a photo or be successful.

We learn valuable techniques.  We gain knowledge.  This is all quite beneficial on our journey.

But we learn and copy and ....copy some more.


Without going deeper into the self, without taking the journey inwards to finding our own voice and sitting through our own fires to burn down to our essence, our creative expression is no more authentic than a photocopier's.  


Often I forget, but my journey is always driven by mindfulness.  It is awareness followed by expression (followed by awareness).  


When I am reminded, when I tap into the passionate essence that is always trying to express itself through my being, I am always joyous.  



This weekend, we went to an art fair here in Bloomington.  We came across a booth of whimsical creations* that made me stop and smile.  The creations resonated with some sense of playfulness within that longs to be expressed.

My husband surprised me by purchasing one of the pieces I'd loved:



(We've named him Gus.)


Gus hangs out with me now in my studio.  He smiles back at me and, every now and then, cracks a joke followed by a "cha, cha, cha...".

Gus reminds me that whether I'm working with wax or acrylic paint, fingering rusty keys or a delicate silk fabric, there isn't any one way to use these materials.  

In an oddly Sean-Connery-esque voice, Gus croons that a paintbrush can apply color...or he can dress up in his finest and hit the town.

Gus makes me smile.  He whisks away my expectations.  When I burn into ashes from sitting with my stories, he sweeps up the remains.  He gives me a big ol' metallic kiss that leaves ridges on my cheek.

He says, dahling, let's dance!!


And with that, he reminds me how to be creative.




 *Steve Meadows is the artist who created this piece.  Unfortunately he does not have a website, but you can view an awesome news video about Steve and his process here