I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about being an artist lately, and what it takes to actually live your creative dreams. In thinking about this topic, and struggling with it everyday, I have been looking for a way to share what I have been reading, learning, and thinking.
Last night, I stumbled upon a blog called Creative Thursday written by a very creative and inspirational painter named Marisa. She has been making podcasts as a way of sharing what she learns and inspiring artists to follow their dreams. This idea inspired me and made me realize that one way I could share what I am learning is posting about it on this blog. From now on, I will be creating regular posts about the creative process with fun exercises to get you going. Here it goes.
Last week, running with my dog Lance, I passed a young boy flying a kite with his mom. By some stroke of luck, just at the exact moment I was in ear-range, looking up at his kite rippling in the air, he exclaimed, “It is so beautiful! It is so beautiful up there!” What a wonder it is to be able to admire something so purely. I smiled to myself and thanked the world for letting me experience that moment of pure joy.
For some reason or another, we seem to lose this ability as we get older. Whether it is just life happening or us listening to everyone telling us to “grow up,” I’m not sure, but this is the seed of creative problems. Creativity is a pure and joyful act. I think, in order to let go, and make things for the pure fun of making (and therefore make what you truly should be making) means we need to let go of all of the “can’ts” and “shouldn’ts” of adult life and let ourselves have fun. Be a kid again.
I know it’s much easier said than done, but I believe this will make the difference between living a full and happy life of beauty and exploration and getting into the ruts and drudgery of the stereotypical adult life.
Here is an exercise I stumbled upon yesterday, when I was preparing for the poetry appreciation group I recently started. It is from a book called Poem Crazy by Susan Wooldridge. This is a great book full of stories, insights, and exercises. It’s geared towards poetry writing, but I think it is such an interesting exercise for any artist, especially visual artists because it creates so much visual imagery.
Jot down and list the first thing you see when you ask yourself,
If I were a color, what color would I be?
(From red to the inside-of-a-watermelon-seed color.)
What shape would I be?
If I were a movement, what movement would I be?
What number? (infinity, googolplex, eight)
what piece of furniture?
What musical instrument?
What element in nature?
What kind of tree?
What’s something I’m afraid of?
What’s the word hiding behind my eyes?
Put down the words I am . . .