“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”Mark Twain
Back in the day (1980’s-1990’s)… I felt like the arts were not a practical field to study or work towards as a career. I settled on the study of Psychology as a compromise, only to later find that art was the best form of Psychotherapy I had ever encountered! Ha! It’s funny how our passions cannot escape us.
Even though art finally found me again, I went down a long path until I came back. The interesting thing about our society is that we have separated the worthy and the not worthy based on our habit of labeling and putting things into a hierarchy. We have decided there is a right way to make art and a wrong way. Sadly that puts the nail in the coffin for lots of would be creatives who tend to compare their own expressive urge against the great masters, or socially approved art, and give up before they ever even try. Don’t get me wrong practice does make the master, but I’m talking about when we get discouraged before we even know what we can do.
My experience as someone who once cringed at the idea of calling myself “artist”, where as now I openly call myself an artist, I know it in my bones. In fact I know everyone is an artist. I know that’s an unpopular opinion according to some, however it all depends on how you choose to see it.
We all have within us the ability to create. Whatever form that takes is up to us, this is a power given to each person and it is not by accident. We are born to express who we are through our creative capacities! I think most of the incompleteness people feel is because their creative nature is blocked by a limiting belief that “I am not creative” or “I can not do it” or “I’ll never be that good”… It’s an insidious lie that we tell each other and worst we tell it to ourself! Trust me I still hear that voice, but the big shift is that now I know it’s not true.
“It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art, and ignorant also of surgery. Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues.”Mark Twain
I discovered that this creative urge we are all born with, that has been snuffed out, is a wonderful way to stay connected to our true nature. Our true nature is that ever present awareness, that’s awake and alive, in this moment. When we create we are using our imagination and then making that fantasy a real tangible thing! We’re empowering ourselves, we are communicating on another level, and inspiring ourselves and others.
Once I realized that art was that powerful (and essential) I decided to make art as much as possible. I made it a new habit! Think of all the things we do habitually that don’t serve us well… I dare you to pick one bad habit and replace it with making art. Making art can be as simple as a doodle on a piece of scrap paper, transforming that old pile of pictures into a collage, or (my favorite) paint a picture.
Since my experiment began I have made hundreds of original paintings and if they bring just one person (even if it’s only me) a smile then I somehow feel complete. The more I do it the more skilled I become and it’s just plain FUN. Thats the magic of making art, and I challenge you to try it starting NOW!