It doesn’t disappear if you shame it, either.
Creativity emerges from the human spirit.
It’s a connection to your soul, and how you feel about something, married with what you know.
That’s how Brené Brown describes faith in the Power Of Vulnerability, the intersection between what you feel and what you know.
Brown also says that it doesn’t disappear if you don’t use it. It is energy, so it must be repressed or suppressed, and in that sense, it becomes shame, rage, and resentment.
Creativity is so vital to the human experience. We feel something as a cue to start processing; it’s sensory data to rationalize and make logic of in the mind.
Faith and reason are not dichotomies. They work well together.
They also create an excellent environment for creative exploration.
Creativity as play
Making something, drawing something can be fun.
Creativity can be for the sake of joy. Play around, be in fun fully, express, dance, draw something, throw it away, make shitty art. Who the fuck cares?!
You don’t have to be Picasso to enjoy art, in fact, if you’re trying to be perfect, then you’re missing the point. Start creativity for you, take the first step.
It’s part of a process of growth; if you don’t take the next step then you won’t get to the goal. Period. You won’t get there.
Our culture around art tells people that they must be inherently talented. We hold up child prodigies like they didn’t have time and resources, and support in their worlds.
Creativity is inherent, talent is practice.
So enjoy the process, you have to go through it so you may as well enjoy it. Share it with a friend, laugh at yourself for how shit the first few bits come out. Think critically about the little things you would evolve in your practice.
Keep striving for excellence, not perfection. Excellence in the expression of you.
We are all unique because we have unique experiences behind us. Art is about translating that into something. To compare creative endeavours will only get you so far.
Comparison culture fosters musicians who think they’re enemies, yet they sing about the same struggle or are voicing a similar message.
Stuart Brown MD, has been researching play because he started researching violence, and noticed that the two were correlated. The opposite to play is not boredom, it’s depression.
“Brown MD calls play a catalyst. A little bit of play, he writes, can go a long way toward boosting our productivity and happiness.”
Creativity is not just for artists.
Creativity as healing
So many of us have “art scars”.
Brown mentions in her audiobook that of the people that admitted to a significant shaming event in their childhood, around 50% of them said that that experience was around creativity. In education. This is where our children are sent to learn the world.
For many years, shaming was pinned as a constructive way to parent your child, here are a few reasons why this isn’t the case. Shaming a child for anything can crush their sense of independence, and could take a lifetime to heal.
I’m talking about something like the teacher holding up a picture to the class and saying:
“It’s a good job you’re clever Bill because this is the worst horse drawing I’ve seen in all my years as a teacher.”
“You clearly can’t follow instructions, are you dumb? I told you to draw a red flower!”
Before they rip up the piece of paper.
Sounds out of this world right?
Maybe you’ve experienced your version of this.
When you’re creativity shamed, it’s not just a shaming for superficial things, like how you hold your hair, or what you decided to wear that day. You are shamed for your very nature. For what your voice chose to express through the medium with which you’re working.
Trauma survivors often struggle with being creative, because the messages that instilled are an image of themselves as worthless; dehumanized.
Rediscovering your creative voice is essential to healing, it’s tough to go through that process, however, it’s a way to familiarise yourself with your Self. How you feel when you do a certain thing, when you think a certain way.
It helps to develop real awareness of your process; humans are visually orientated too, so creating something visual can help to bridge the gap between concept and feeling.
Creativity as innovation
Innovation doesn’t spring out of anywhere, it comes from having a problem. That problem needs to be solved, yet, can’t be solved with the current set of technology. Some of the most significant innovations came from the most fantastic creatives the world has ever known.
They might not be conventionally creative, people like Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie. They were all profoundly creative in their way.
We tend to think of creativity as only artistry. Innovation is an excellent example of how we need it societally too. Innovation is key to facing challenging times without becoming set in polarization and conflict.
We live in those times; we need innovation.
Creativity as vulnerability
Creating something is incredibly vulnerable. Imagine the innovation example; creating something genuinely groundbreaking and having to take it to a team of people, half of them won’t understand what you’re talking about, half of them might be actively trying to stop the progress that you are suggesting.
That’s a vulnerable position.
It’s equally as vulnerable to put any art down onto paper, and then show it to loved ones. Because that’s a piece of your soul expressed.
It doesn’t have to be ‘good’, that’s a comparison trap. Its power is in its interpretation; in the expression of a unique and human voice.
Playing music is equally vulnerable; and the culture around performing is incredibly stressful, demanding vulnerability, and perfection in the same breath. Two things that are counteractive.
We need to rethink seriously, and re-feel, creativity.
Creativity as connection
Putting your heart and soul into something is being vulnerable, then sharing it with the world is even more vulnerable.
Having out there for all to see; to judge, love, obsess over, find meaning in, and criticize.
Creativity is connection.
Creativity fosters connection; empathy, understanding.
Putting your energy into something allows you to be seen and heard, and for others to take that energy and resonate with it. It allows them to be influenced by it, and to go on and create their art around that.
Art is a long line of influence, and it’s progressive. It helps us to feel deeper around humanity, and what it means to be human.
It allows us to have more compassion for ourselves and therefore for others.
I don’t think it’s a surprise that the current state of world affairs is actively challenging creativity.
Art is always the first sacrifice in the economy during a recession, my question is:
Why is art the first thing to be sacrificed when it fulfils people, and makes them happy?
Are we not striving for that in society? Does that not make community better, and more stable?
Everything about creativity breeds a better, and more harmonious society.
How are you creative? How are you going to bring more creativity into your life? What is the art medium that resonates with you?
All of these questions will help you, and help all of us. Creativity is a part of you being aware of you. It’s an incredibly spiritual experience, and we need it.