Friday, January 09, 2009

Creatively Speaking...

This post is a repeat: first written one Sunday, August 19, 2007. I've been traveling back through my old blogs, kind of a review of where I've been in the service of where I'm headed.
I've always felt creativity in some form is mandatory, not optional. I've said it before and here it is again:

When my daughter was about seven years old,
she asked me one day what I did at work.
I told her worked at the college--that my job was to
teach people how to draw.
She stared back at me, incredulous, and said,"You mean they forget?"
Howard Ikemoto
I'm here to say that art and creativity are mandatory to happiness. It's easy enough believe or pretend that is not so, for any number of reasons:
I don't have time
I'm not a real artist
I have nothing worth saying
I'm not sure what I'm doing
Other people are so much better than I am
I'm only a novice
I've never been trained
I've never had an exhibit
I've never been published
I just dabble
Misconceptions about this subject always surprise me. It seems too many of us believe if you don't seriously paint, or write, or sculpt or design something, you can't possibly be an artist or a creative person. And yet, I look around me and I see artists and creative souls everywhere--all ages, all sizes, all mediums--some professionally committed to earning a living from their art, others just beginning to take themselves seriously, others engaged in planting gardens, cooking dinners, coordinating accessories, taking photos, planning parties, drawing cartoons, singing songs, spinning tales, making cards, painting furniture, giving gifts, crafting, performing, providing, trying, stretching, sharing.
It's probably true most of us have to fight for the time to play in the service of art. But guess what? You have to, because if you don't, some part of you will wither. I am pretty sure I am right about this.
Somehow in the process of growing up too many of us lost sight of the importance of play. That loss may have made you a better money manager or a more grounded person, but if you've sacrified creativity and play, think again. It's not optional. Really, truly, I don' think it is.
As for me and my own version of creativity:
Writing is easy:
all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper
until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
Gene Fowler
But here's the thing: I wouldn't have it any other way. Never, not even, no can do. It's too much fun, even when I'm doubled over, trying to outshout my own worse critic, and guess who that is.......


  1. I love these words KJ! I think I'll read this every time I feel inadequate as an artist. I guess I'll read this every day :)
    You're right though, I believe we need to tap into our creative parts for survival. And yeah, I'm pretty sure I know who your worst critic is. Tell her to simmer down ;)

  2. Thanks for posting this inspirational piece about art and creativity. I have not been creative since Mom died and am longing to get back to it, slowly. Your words encourage me to begin.

  3. Awesome post, KJ! Your worst critic and my worst critic should get together ... and we'll lock 'em up in a soundproof room -- bam!

    I read something once that said if you ask a room full of kids to raise their hands if they can draw, the whole room will raise their hands. If you ask the same of a group of adults, virtually no one will raise their hands ....

    let's all raise our hands in '09!!

  4. Good timing kj, I'm feeling very introspective this month and have resolved to be more creative this year., I haven't worked out through which vehicle yet but I am going to haven a bash at something,

  5. " ...because if you don't, some part of you will wither. I am pretty sure I am right about this."

    Oh yeah, youre right about this!!!

    Great advice KJ!

  6. I needed this! Thank you.

    "let's all raise our hands in '09!!" Milady Melissa

    I could not agree more!

    *raises hand*

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