So it is time to turn a page and enter a new chapter. The year+ that passed, while seeming to be about a book project was really about another stage of creative growth. In hindsight, I can see how that time of intention was to lead me right to where I am now. From where I sit now I can clearly see there are always two directions that our choices can lead us, one that takes us most purposefully in the direction that serves who we truly are at heart, or the variable direction of further lessons that are to be learned. In that time, I realize that trust, clarity, and confidence reside in that same place where I focus on intuition for creativity in painting, and that what I thought was the all important goal or project was really simply a step to a new understanding of the purpose of creativity in my life. Now, as I realize the energy and time that has gone to the website I know it is time to close this particular venture to develop creatively in other ways. It is important for me to take time to thank you who took time to support me by signing up for emails to following my progress through the blog posts. If you so wish I will be sure to let you know when I am relaunching the 2.0 version of my creative life. It could be weeks or months in the making. Not rushing the process. The poster above really is the perfect segue to my creativity re-imagined, and it is intriguing how this poster came to me.
I was talking to a student about her work the day before when the connection to the work of Marc Chagall seemed so immediately relevant to the conversation that I had to tell her that she should look at his work. The next day on the job I was going through work snail mail. It didn't seem of interest at first glance so I was about to toss what I received into the paper recycling. However on second thought, I decided to open one of the pieces of business mail, a Scholastic (educational resource) catalogue, when I noticed a pull out folded and tuck between pages inside. A rare find. I was intrigued. When I open it it was a Marc Chagall poster. The smile I felt started from the inside...there was more...the quote below the image read “Art seems to be above all a state of soul” - Marc Chagall. Direct line to my heart...This is where I am at with my understanding of the purpose of art to life. The quote I received is for me a reassuring compass needle aligned with the direction of creative endeavours to come, and it couldn’t have been more timely. Wishing you joy in your work, play and relations.
Where the last post "Creativity Happens," was really about seizing opportunity as a timely occurrence this one extends that dialogue. The key to unlocking your creative potential is up to you. Isn't it? Creativity doesn't come from the sky...it is of your making. It might seem like it comes out of nowhere and to a selective few, but if you consider that the circumstance for it was already there the discovery is in the person's readiness to receive what already is, or to build on what is available to create something more, unique, and personal. Furthermore, it is not limited but very available to everyone (but another discussion, another time, another format??? :)
I didn't go to the sink to create. I went there because I had to do the dishes. I didn't go there frustrated that I'd rather be doing something else, like creating. I didn't turn on a distraction; I was just open to the idea that this is what I am doing now. It was a moment of calm, peace and quiet - time to connect with myself. Run the water to a comfortable temperature, add suds, and one by one add the dishes, letting them sink and settle. It is in that calm, relaxed state of mind that we can access our most creative self: Those black cap pupils weren't there to start...the night before I took the caps off two spice jars, then I decided to wash the lids, and set them aside to air dry over night. The next day, relaxed mind/in the moment, I saw a relationship in the sink...the two bowls to the plate emerging as a smile from the water. Although, I could see it I thought not everyone would make that connection right away. They would see the chore of washing, or dishes in the sink; they might need more prompting. That doesn't mean opportunity wasn't there for those who don't see it immediately. It means, the right mindset wasn't there ready to receive opportunity in the form it presented. I grabbed the dried lids and plopped them back into the water to complete my vision, playful as it was. Now I could communicate what I saw potentially for someone else to see it too with more clarity.
The start of many creative ideas begins simply as a "what if" proposition. Stephen King wrote about the "what if" concept in his book "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft." He explained how he would take two unrelated and seemingly unimportant things he observed and say "what if." By creating a relationship through the "what if" question his next book is born. In my case, I had the present circumstance - a sink of dishes; a memory - of spice caps on the counter, and a proposition "what if" I placed those two black caps in the two bowls, now the relationship has a clear intention. My human experience connects to your human experience of recognizing " a face."
The next post (yet to be written from a myriad of notes or connecting dots), builds on the previous posts that addressed seizing the moment, creating the circumstance for those moments to happen, then recognizing your own patterns). After that it's like a controlled experiment, applying the cycle, or creative process that yields results for you. As I said before, I am making change happen with greater direction for how I spend my creative time... I need time to devote to building what I started. I think I did say previously that the posts here would therefore be smaller, but I can't seem to help that side of me...I love writing. It is how I process thought ;) In the meantime, know that when I post there is inspiration behind it. So until next time...a relaxed mind is your creative superpower.
Some time ago, when I was making and eating cookies (Brain relaxed, happy, content), "Cookie Face" emerged. I thought about it (inspired in the moment... but then life, and busy-ness, lol), and put on the back burner the idea of a book with cookies as personalities.
Creative Awareness 1: When an idea/initiative isn't followed up right away it loses its potency. Fast forward to this morning, weeks, months, experiences later "Cookie Face" emerged in another form as a meme instead.
Creative Awareness 2: Being open to possibilities allows creativity to grow in a form you may not have foreseen from the limitations of your thinking in the moment.
Creative Awareness 3: When an idea forgotten returns in another form pay attention to it.
In the meantime, I am working out details for my website's development/purpose to be of greater service to those creatives and those who don't know they are creatives at heart, yet. It is going to take time for development. It's a one step at a time leap of creative faith, into the unfolding form of it.
I've got a bit of travel planned in the fall to facilitate that unfolding direction, and so much more to integrate it all into being, so stay tuned and I will let you know when it is ready to roll out.
Stay true to your self, your deepening creative awareness, and your well being: Start simply, by asking yourself at the start of your day "What do I need?" (Nancy Levin). Listen for your answer: Ie. Do you need a moment, movement, nature, a warm soothing cup of tea, a relaxing bath etc. The answer is your first step to set the tone for your day. Furthermore, a bi-product of serving that need is that the direct channel to creative thought and solutions is most accessible when our mind is relaxed.
(Words to the meme are credited to Michael Neill, author of "Super Coach.")
I have a new character; her name is Liv. I have a concept for her experience, but here's the thing... although there is a narrative, and a developing story arc, there are no words. The art is to speak to the reader, and the reader is to interpret the narrative. I can see the challenges already.
This character came about a few weeks after the completion of the Aldo Renaldo project. I had handed the Aldo illustrations over to his writer, creator, Dr. George M. Johnson, and it was time to savour completion for a while. Then one day I woke up early, picked up my pencil, and under the lamp light she quickly took form. She was an older version then, standing there wrapped in a coat and a scarf looking at me, wide eyed. I think that's when the concept of "No Words" came...She seemed stunned in the headlights of the life she had lived. Today, she was younger and contemplative as you see her in the version above. It is early in this process, so it will be interesting to see what takes hold for what she needs to say about a life lived.
I have learned from the Aldo experience that from daily intention comes action. From sustained action comes the momentum of the creative process. I know that once routine is established the qualities of the character will take the lead, and that I will simply have to show up, open to what the story needs to become.