The Creative Expression In Everyday Life
In forming the group Art Interrupted, I wanted to expand on the Art Everyday challenge. I wanted to push myself to create more art, yes, but also to be more creative. I wanted “real life” to not get in the way; hence, the permission given to be creative and allow the mundane tasks to interrupt that creative output.
Paint Brushes Close Up, by Tech109 - Creative Commons License
But on the third day of not pulling out my paints, I felt guilty for having nothing to contribute to the group. And yet – I felt fulfilled. I truly felt as if the past three days of my life had left nothing to be desired, even in the creative realm.
On that third day, I admitted to the group I’d done nothing “creative” thus far, and that I was certainly going to do something that night. Of course, as I fell asleep, I grappled with what I thought was a fact that I'd failed, and not created. But please join me in laughing at this irony:
Early that evening, I'd attended a local meeting for the group, "Creative Indiana". During that networking meeting, we made nametags decorated with stickers, chose photos that described where we need help and how we can help others, and brainstormed ideas of how to help a local business owner with her upcoming holiday event.
Clearly, I was expressing myself creatively during that meeting! And yet, I'd felt that I'd failed in being creative that day simply because I hadn't painted nor drawn anything.
The glaring discrepancy between what I felt was creative and what wasn't creative became quite obvious. It was quite the opposite of what I was teaching, which was encouraging others to infuse creativity throughout their lives by acknowledging the creativity inherent in every act.
After Storm, AIDS quilt, by Elvert Barnes, Creative Commons License
During this time that I thought I'd been failing in my creative output, I'd been designing an online class, having thought-provoking conversations with various people, and taking hundreds of photos at the multiple events I was attending. I felt fulfilled because my creative needs were being fulfilled.
I was taking each moment, holding in my awareness who I was and what I wanted to bring forth in the world, and acting upon those deep desires.
It was a mindful creativity, a way of engaging with my world, as it was, by being present and creatively shaping the energies I was expressing based off the wisdom inherent in that moment.
I do know that my paints still await my return. I do not want to suggest that this is the same as doing art everyday (as proposed in the Art Every Day Month challenge), nor do I want to minimize the importance of play with creative materials such as colored pencils, playdough, paint, or even the body.
But I want to remind each of you, as well as myself, that we do not need these materials in order to create nor in order to be creative.
And perhaps it is in this acknowledgement that we give ourselves permission to play with the materials of every day life, to expand our views of how we can be creative, and to grow as creative beings.