What is it ‘to create?’
Why might this interpretive definition be important to you?
While I’m specifically writing this article for the current participants of my courses in Perth, I feel it is relevant for many others who’d like to be encouraged, as they create.
People who create things – ‘Creators’
We do not, need to be painters, to be considered creators of art.
If you make things, build things, develop things – you are a creator.
We have been led, to believe only a select rare few, are artists. Are deserving to be named art creators. Not so. We are all, born to create. In some form.
Art, takes an infinity of forms: Music, photography, dance, building & bridge design, digital apps., surgery, interior design, fashion design, coding, cooking, sculpture, writing, martial arts…. We can make anything an ‘art form’ if that is our desire.
To take something to an ‘art form,’ we must truly love the subject.
Become partners with it. At ease and in tune with how it looks, moves, feels, sounds, responds. The beginning of artistry is love, time, connectedness.
Whether we’re painters, teachers, computer app designers, composers, surgeons, city planners – we all can enhance our work when we “feel” the situation, the surroundings, immersing ourselves in the subject. Being connected.
Its this way we can best share the excellence of creation we have envisioned with the world.
Acts of Creation: All In
We use, channel, harness all of our senses in order to create the art.
But, we must do so opened up. All In.
To be All In, means you’ve put everything on the line.
You are Vulnerable.
Stripped down to your core. And must engage the process with sensitivity, with feeling. Being attuned to, in time with our chosen partner, i.e. subject.
What is your subject – Is it the Mountain? The ocean? The forest? The dancers at the ballet? The little rose bush, that the frost of autumn has aged overnight?
Those cool professional walls, barriers, and that distance put into place to keep us “safe” and protected from feeling hurt, or embarrassed?
They don’t help us.
What they do is negate the power of creation we could have infused our art with.
Why do we copy?
Replicate Joe Smith’s painting? What ‘risk’ are we taking in doing that? If it is mocked and we are embarrassed, we can always say, “Oh well, I only copied Joe. Its not mine. Not really.” And, no. It’s not.
When we open up, we then are so vulnerable. And this is the scary thing.
It is an uncertain thing.
We do not like the fact that we don’t know for certain if our creation, will work or not.
IF, it will be ok. Be ‘good enough.’ Or not.
To have family, a friend, a mentor … “approve.”
Get “likes” or not. Get followers or not.
Life is way too short, for us to make those approvals of monumental significance.
Your own opinion, that’s the one that is of monumental significance.
And, yes. It is a struggle.
Every time we pick up the pen, the brush, the mouse, the knife, we hear the voice in our head tell us to do it better this time.
(Silence that voice each time. It knows nothing. Nothing…. of relevance to the act of creation.)
It is the Uncertainty,of not getting it right, that stops us. It is what blocks us, chains us, ties our hands from trying.
It is the Uncertainly that stops us from being ‘ALL In.’ Prevents us from giving it every thing we have to give.
But if we never try, never summon the courage, (in some cases we must invent it if that is what is required) then the world, misses out on what we alone have to give.
Yes. We will stumble.
We will fall to our knees.
We will fail.
Its ok. I repeat, it is ok that we make mistakes, stumble, fail.
*side note, if you are a bridge engineer, aircraft mechanic, heart surgeon, airport traffic controller…. its ok, if you have a little higher standards than what I’ve just mentioned. In fact, thanking you in advance for it. cheers!
For too long we have all been told, trained and conditioned, to believe in the god of perfection.
“Get It Right.”
No errors. No flaws.
No visible signs of cracks, age, wear or tear.
In other words, absolutely no signs that we are, after all, Human.
Because, being human is the greatest asset we have. Flaws and all.
I’m currently mentoring privately a beautiful person, with acrylics. We are working on a helpful approach to lessen the fear of mistakes, flaws. We’re developing a program with Multiple creative resolution methods, imaginative solutions, thinking outside the box.
Addressing – Society’s obsession with imperfections.
It is a challenge to go against our training. But, we can do it. We simply repeat, the acts of creation we desire. Over and over, and over.
In the mentoring sessions, we are repurposing used acrylic canvases. They already have colors and textures on them, in abundance. But, they were not quite working.
The next step is to brush over, in selected areas large swaths of contrasting paint.
We used White. Brilliant! This creates a lovely and lively sensation of vibration and contrast. The underlying base comes through in places with the white, skimming along the surface to create fascinating patterns suggesting of bark, trees, foliage shapes.
This Technique clearly demonstrates that the underlying “Imperfect” canvas, with its scars, its hard edges, its yucky bits…. actually was the perfect substrata for the project.
I like how this art creation process can also be interpreted through the lens of life as well.
This is one of the pieces, my friend created using the acrylic methods described above. A Wonderful, act of creation.
Art of Connection
I am in fact, expressing in paint, my world. Not yours. Not Joe’s. Mine. This is a very important distinction artists, creators need to make.
When I create a painting, or photographic art image, I am primarily attempting to convey the dialogue. In other words, the dialogue that is going on between the subject and myself.
That simply can not occur if I refuse to spend alone time with it.
If I treat it callously, abruptly, with little regard, and simply want to “use it” to make a pretty little picture to boost my ego – then, no, I can’t expect its true beauty to shine through.
Its more effective to become friends with the subject.
To learn about it. To immerse oneself into its world.
Then…. Maybe I can create art that has a beautiful life energy within it.
What I hope to create, is to convey the essence of what I myself connect to and “feel.”
To define this. I think of it in these terms: of having the emotion of Love of life, emanate from my creation. Just as a warm fire in winter compels and draws people closer.
I know. That is, a lofty goal. And one I often stumble, fall and abjectly fail at. That’s ok. I’m All In. I’ll keep trying. Some, do work quite well. I’m happy with that.
In whatever form, the art chooses to take for each individual, we want to strive to impart a piece of our selves, into our “Acts of Creation.”