I’ve been busy this week working with clients for my creativity coaching class. I’ve done a lot of thinking because of this work about where ideas come from. Creative people are like sponges. Even as children they soak up everything that is around them. They are the individuals that set out to go on a five mile hike and end up covering one mile because they stop to LOOK at things. My kids used to tease me about this all the time but of course the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and I see both of them branching out in their own creative ways. My daughter is a writer. She may not always describe herself in that way but she can’t help but see everything as a story. My son is a creative. He makes his job at Pop Cap Games in Seattle creative in all different sorts of ways. He’s a photographer, a computer genius and the best father I’ve ever encountered. Tavish, his son, misses nothing. Tavish , at the age of six, is already a creative.
Ideas come to artists and creatives from everywhere. Sometimes we have so many ideas it’s hard to know which one to act on first. Often I don’t know whether to write, paint, collage, read, go outside and sit in the sun or take a nap and dream. I like to overhear conversations anywhere. My best paintings have sometimes been inspired by listening to strangers at the next table in a restaurant. I don’t ever remember not having these ideas or being so interested in everything. I find this is true of all of my creative friends.
Also, creativity is like a rollercoaster. When you’re acting on it, in your studio or at your computer it’s so much fun. When day to day life gets in your way and there are things you can’t avoid having to do, it feels scary and there seems to be nowhere and no time to put these all important ideas down. As a creative… getting, expressing and saving these ideas IS the most important thing in your life. These ideas will make you immortal. So the artist is constantly caught between passion and panic.
I’m trying to work through artistic panic with my creativity clients. It’s hard to comfort them but I’m proud of them for trying to find ways to celebrate these important and unusual desires and get past their fears. I have found ways to accomplish this. I’ve also realized that art, poetry and writing are what cultures are all about. Students in school learn the “basic skills” so they can enjoy the written word, appreciate important art and understand the course of history. The reason to learn is not to pass tests at the end of the semester or to get into the most celebrated university. We creatives have a duty to pass on our ideas. It’s the most important thing.
Don’t forget to sign up for my Maryhill workshop this weekend. Bring your sunscreen and a hat. For information get in touch with Carmen at The Dalles Art Center.