It happens sometimes. I make something. I share it with my tribe. And a few people react as though I’ve created actual, Harry Potter level magic with my bare hands.
“So cool/cute/amazing I wish I could do that,” they might say, or “I tried this thing on Pinterest one time but…”
But they’re not wrong. Kind of.
Art is magic – art has the ability to transform life! A beautiful painting can brighten up your home and change your mood, a mural can inspire social change, a well crafted web page can engage viewers in something greater than themselves. Good art is magic. Where people are wrong, is in believing that only certain people have this magical power.
Yes. I was born with artistic talent. But… I practiced it, too. I’ve been drawing and painting and creating since I could pick up crayons and markers. While my besties were getting Barbies and roller skates for Christmas, my parents gave me coloring books, sets of colored pencils, easels, paper… I even took that “to the next level” and went to art school.
Most people don’t do this. And, for the most part, parents don’t encourage this form of creativity from their children because our society tends to look down on the “starving artist” lifestyle (which is a myth, by the way, but that will be a discussion for later). Most parents would likely rather their children be another kind of successful.
If you didn’t grow up making art all of the time, that’s OK! This is certainly not everyone’s path. But if you’re thinking about getting into art making, or you already consider yourself an artist and you want to improve your craft, read on.
Many people fall into negative patterns of thinking, “I wasn’t born with this talent, so I shouldn’t bother trying to get better – I’m just not creative.” But this kind of thinking is incredibly limiting. And it happens in many areas of life.
Perfect example – I was so not born with the magical power of athleticism – but eventually I started practicing and now I can totally kill it at Cyclebar, and I can squat a lot more than ‘just the bar’. I’m still not an athlete, I still can’t bench very much, I can’t run a marathon, but I try, I work at it, and I’m better than I was before.
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. – Stephen King
Perfecting your creative practice is just like becoming an athlete. You create a habit, you practice, you get back up when you fall off of the wagon, and you press on.
But I understand that practicing is hard. Building new habits is hard. freaking. work. We are asking ourselves to challenge ourselves to be better, to try again, to learn and grow and get out of our comfort zones. And what a wonderful thing!
Personal growth and self-awareness, internal exploration, getting honest with yourself – it all lends itself to your creative practice – to creating the magic.
It’s all about collecting your input – your thoughts, ideas, inspirations, etc. Eventually, in going back and exploring all of those wonderful things you’ve collected, you start coming to conclusions; you see patterns, you find answers, you make connections and THEN… you create something. And to those who didn’t see the process, it looks like magic, simply because they didn’t see the process.
But that’s exactly what creativity is. A process of taking your input, and crafting output.
Output is the result of all that input you’ve been stewing on.
But why is the output important? Why should we care about art?
Because art, like great feats of athleticism, or poetry, or magic…. inspires the soul.
Using our creative muscles improves our means of communication, allowing us to bear our soul to the world. Which in turn, opens up all kinds of conversations and connections to be had with others out there looking for someone like you. Yes. YOU.
Creativity allows us to be seen and heard, felt and understood. It allows us to express, and rage and it allows us to heal. Art isn’t just about pretty colors and cool looking images it’s about EXPRESSION, at it’s very core. Expression of the SELF.
It is a direct means of human expression which is why so many run from it. Most people are afraid. Afraid of dealing with feelings, afraid of sharing their lives with others, afraid of how they truly feel or think, and how that may be perceived if brought to the light. A lot of people, including me, are afraid to get uncomfortable. But if you can manage – in the silent space of your heart you will find your Truth.
Sharing that Truth is one of the greatest gifts you can give to the world.
And when you create something, truly create something with intention, you do just that.
I invite you to create with me this week. Challenge yourself – what can you make? What can you doodle? How can you get that project started?
Until next time…
Love & Light,