April 24, 2013
Discovering Your Creative Self
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up -- Pablo Picasso
I took this quote from the book The Artist's way by Julia Cameron. The book has been around for awhile. I first read it years ago, but it's one of those books that I find myself revisiting through the years and gleaning new insights. The book, in a nutshell, is about discovering and recovering our creative selves. We are all creative, not just people who are famous, who make the big bucks singing or dancing or writing.
The Artists Way isn't just for writers. Julia Cameron wrote this book to help people overcome whatever blocks they might have in their lives, whether inner or outer, that keep them from finishing that novel, or auditioning for a play, or painting that bowl of fruit and submitting it to the art contest at the country fair. In others words, honoring your creative path.
Julia recommends an artist date. No this doesn't mean you get on the Internet and hook up with an artist. Sorry. Instead, it's you dating you. She wants you to spend time out of your routine, away from family and kids and work. She suggests you go visit an art gallery, or take a stroll by the beach, or a movie or a thrift store...solo. Anything that might inspire you!
An artist date requires not money but TIME. Yes I know. Time is often harder to find than money.
According to Julia, when you are on an artist date you are on an excursion with your creative consciousness, your inner creative self.
I recently made to the time to attend a concert by a blue's guitarist, Joe Bonamassa. Wow. His music makes me want to write. I can't explain it. By hearing or watching, or seeing someones artistic talents, we are somehow then stimulated, motivated, call it what you want, to do our own creative work. I have no talent or desire to be a guitar player, yet Joe's amazing playing makes me want to tap into my own creativity. We are more connected to one another than we imagine.
When I see the sweaters, Sandy, crochets I am inspired. When I listen to a poem, Cindi, writes I'm inspired. I'm inspired by the cermaic sculptures and bowls my friend's boyfriend, Jack, makes. Remember: It doesn't have to be someone famous to inspire us, just another person honoring their creative selves.
By the way, are you ever inspired by watching someone text on their cell phone? Inspired by someone staring at a computer screen? Me either. So get out and see and taste and hear the world. You don't even need a touch screen.
Anyway....the artist's date makes time in our life to nurture our inner self, the one that can get ignored by the blare of today's business. Plain and simple. On the artist's date we are away from bills, or gossipping on the phone, stress at work, or the myriad of other things that occupy our heads and sap us of energy. No wonder we often feel too tired to be artistic, to design that garden, or finish that collage. An artist dates fills our creative gas tanks whether appreciating the work of Picasso, or the music of Katy Perry (hey we all like different stuff) or learning the rumba at a dance studio, or even figure skating.
At various writing classes through this long writing journey I've been on, I've met elderly people (I'll soon be in that category myself) who all their lives wanted to write a memoir or a poem and now they finally are taking the time. Why wait??
The artist date can inspire you to reconnect with that creative child you have always been.
Finally, a quote from Julia Cameron. I know people are always posting sayings on Facebook. Aferawhile I don't even pay attention. So if you ignore this one I understand. Still, it's a good reminder about how fear can really suck when it comes to being artist.