Even under difficult circumstances, humans have always had a strong urge to create, to make things that embody thought, emotion, spiritual and cultural beliefs. Creativity has made us unique as successful as a species and is rooted in our origins when early people first created fire, smeared ash and pigment on the walls of caves, planted gardens, and began changing and controlling their environment.
Those of us who work in fine art media have a drive to create even when there is no practical purpose for what we make. This urge can range from the occasional desire to a very strong passion, an almost uncontrollable compulsion, and often ebbs and flows within an individual. But like the pilot light in a gas stove, it is always there. Sometimes it is nearly dormant or burning at a low but steady lower level while other times, under the right circumstances, it is strong and continuous.
Like so much in art, introspection has a place in understanding your own creative urges and what is true for your work and process. Allow your creative expression to be what it is, rather than what you feel it should be. Sometimes we are distracted by thinking art should please others or play a specific role in our lives that does not ring true. There is no right or wrong in creative exploration or correct path that you “should” take.
Many artists over time have put into words their own understanding of what is important in creativity, and these can provide inspiration and insight. But a range of quotations will also point out the very diverse and personal nature of creativity and how artists find meaining in what they do. A particular artist's words may strike a chord, but they only represent that artist's particular path.
It can take a lifetime to understand our own motivations, but any insight gained can break down barriers and blocks on our creative journey.
Books refernced in this episode:
How Painting Holds Me on the Earth; Leigh Hyams (Black Mountain South Press; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 2008)
The Artist's Voice; Katherine Kuh (Da Capo Press, 1960)
The Messy Studio is a CORE publication MGMT production.