How often do you wish you could draw or paint? Or just be more ‘creative’? And how often did you not pick up that bush, guitar or journal?
What is making you believe so strongly that you just aren’t creative or artistic – what makes it so heard to even start?
It might be that you have heard as a kid that you just can’t sing, or been laughed at for your attempt to draw that dragon. Maybe it wasn’t even a malicious intent but an off-hand comment that nevertheless impacted you like a bomb going off.
So you put down that brush, closed your mouth, and adopted the believe that you are just not talented for that. Why are we so ready to accept these downtrodding ‘believes’?
Or you were never supported as a kid or an adult, you simply weren’t in an environment that was encouraging you to play. So you might just not have gotten in touch with it, and you probably feel something is missing, some ‘aliveness’ in your existence?
The fact is nature itself is abundant and drenched with art. Creativity is THE core concept of life. Creation itself, terrestrial, extraterrestrial, universal and beyond – it is all an act of creation, and there is a reason why those words are so strongly connected. Creativity is the ability to come up with something out of line. Creative thinking means thinking outside the box. And if you have seen the austrian movie ‘alphabet‘ … the statistics say that the ability for creative, unconventional thinking drops after going through the school system from about 99% to about 2% (i can´t fully recall the number, but its something like this: scary)
Art is pretty much always creative, but creativity is not necessarily always art. But that’s a never-ending discussion and i will not go into that. But creativity! that is something you cannot escape. It might be an aspect you shamefully neglected, and one that for sure is undernourished in our industrial societies, yet the good news is: creativity is a muscle you can train, literally. And picking up that pen, brush or guitar is just one way of flexing that muscle.
For me, creativity always has something to do with playing. Kids know how to play, if we let them, and when they do so, they are fully present – did you notice that? Kids can spend hours upon hours playing, as long as it is capturing and fun. To play is not goal oriented, and yet it is a way to achieve what many of us try to achieve through mediation, yoga, various retreats and practices: living in the now.
Why the heck is that such a biggie? Because beautiful side effects of being present are: peace. connectedness. balance. intuition and inner guidance. authenticity. clarity.
And you can achieve all that through playing. And being artistically creative is one fun way to play.
Now don´t go all Picasso or Beethoven on yourself:
you will (probably) not start out as a master. And newsflash: even if you have talent you will still need to practice.
One of your biggest stumbling stones might be, now that you decided to give it a try, that you don´t know what is your art of choice! That one is fairly easy: Allow yourself to try different things!
Another probably way bigger stumblestone is probably gonna be your believe that you’d have to be ‘good’ at it. High expectations, don´t you think? And seriously, that takes all the fun away too!
So my tipp for you
Try to make the worst painting you can, expect to make the guitar squeal, have fun! Draw with you ‘weak’ hand, use fingers instead of brushes – stubbornly ignore that voice of perfectionism that tries to tell you that you are not good enough. After all, it is not your voice and it sure as hell is not your friend. It’s an old, outdated story on playback – aren’t you sick of it?
Aside from that, don’t forget
… creativity is at the core of what you are. It’s is, if we wanna get kinky, how you were created… and hopefully your biological parents had fun creating you. In any case, your conception was an act of creation.
You are creative as a birthright and flexing that muscle in many different ways throughout your day. Small things, solutions to everyday challenges can be creative. The ideas that bubble up while you are in the shower, the stories you dream up late at night, the way you decorate your living quarters or how you solve a problem at work: that is you being creative.
How you deal with your kids quarrels to find a fair and nourishing solution for them. How you create your live… it is creativity. So you might THINK you are not creative, when in truth you cannot not be so. Actually, what you mean is probably that your are not artistically creative, as in drawing, dancing, playing an instrument.
But i hope i got the point across that you sure as hell are creative, even if you don´t recognize it yet.
And isn’t´it funny how creativity and art have merged to nearly a synonym on first glance? And isn’t it funny, too, how artistic pursuits are looked upon as hobbies mostly, not really taken seriously and for sure not as valued as they should be, while at the same time it is such a common thing?
Look around: who does NOT indulge in a form of creativity? What is not designed and crafted: architecture, products, flower arrangements, advertisement, PR, weddings, bikes and bonbons… doesn´t matter what: design, color, texture, arrangement is everywhere in human culture.
Human history is based on it: hieroglyphs, storytelling, astronomy and astrology, cave paintings, symbols, dyes, etc. …
So, saying you can’t draw, for short, is akin to say you can’t hold a pen. Expect less, and have fun doing it. No expectations definitely will free up lots of your creativity.