‘Art is Long, Creativity, a necessity’
Art is every morning and every night at the moment. In the mornings, the greatest joy is perching in bed with a coffee and art supplies. It seems to be when the creativity is perhaps the most efficient. Everything flows of a morning. It’s idyllic and what to strive for in every aspect of daily life. An easy flow where everything is in harmony. Everything is aligned, on course.
Of an evening, creativity is a somewhat different experience but nonetheless valuable. This time it’s in the studio at a desk which looks out over a magnolia tree, the harbour bridge in the distance. It, too is idyllic. However, it takes time to find the rhythm of an evening and sometimes it’s just a different rhythm altogether, bundled up in sweaty running gear, caffeinated and fatigued all at the same time.
Once upon a time, I perceived art making as therapy. Indeed, the pleasure and elation experienced can quite honestly be described as a natural high. The satisfaction of what you deem to be a successful creation. The time, energy and effort reflected satisfactorily in the output. Making something. Putting an idea into practice. Solving a problem. Practicing techniques. Happy accidents. All of this can be therapy. And, no doubt, art has gotten me through some of the toughest moments to date.
However, in recent times, it’s been appropriate to reclassify creativity as a need. Perhaps this is the result of the addiction to the natural highs that comes from creating. The same addiction to endorphins that runners and athletes get.
Daily practice in recent months has resulted in a mental shift. A sense of balance, of purpose and of fulfilment. For years denied with the belief that you are meant for other things, you should be doing something else, that creative practice is less valuable and less meaningful and in some strange way a burden to carry around with you in this world. This pesky creativity proves useless.
Well, hasn’t that taught me a monumental ‘I told you so’ life moment.
‘Why don’t you do more art?’, ‘Gosh, you should do more of this stuff’, ‘But that job has nothing to do with your creativity’, ‘You need to do your art’. Now, ashamedly, teetering into my late thirties, I have been hearing this stuff for years and years and only recently, as a result of needing to find purpose, once more, for what seemed like the millionth time, I succumbed to my art practice to see for just once, where it might lead.
Nothing to lose.
It has been dramatic in every aspect. Mental closets have opened which haven’t been seen since a child, or better still, worlds at the back of wardrobes have opened up which I never even knew existed. For something that was fought against for so long, rediscovering it has, quite simply, reinvigorated daily life.
It’s what brings joy to sunrise and sunsets. It’s what continuously peps up the mundane. It gives momentum, direction, a completeness. Quite simply, can’t imagine life without it. This pestering blob of dulled colour clung on for dear life in the vain hope that someday a revelation happens within.
It wasn’t a light bulb moment. But it was repetitive activity which formed a habit, which created new brain pathways, which connected the heart to the head, the hands to the colour, the colour to the paper.
When people say they aren’t creative, they don’t know anything about art but they know what they like, they can appreciate creativity, don’t believe them.
It is the human condition to create. It’s just that it emerges, like personalities, in different forms. Granted, the traditional definition of an artist does not apply to everyone but there are creative building blocks which can be recognised in everyone else, and ironically dismissed in your own self for years. Mathematicians are often musical. Surgery is an art form. Trades create, build and fix. Public speakers are creative in delivering.
Recognising the creative within is the first step. Making it work to your benefit is magic. Practicing it continuously rejuvenates your being. So, don’t ignore it. Because it will far out live you.
Life is short but art is long.