Whose Thirst is Being Slaked with Your Creativity?
November 19, 2018
I recently heard an experienced and seasoned artist speak. It was clear that her creativity was a weaving for herself first, then her students and her customers. She birthed these questions in her presentation and they have haunted me since hearing them. I will paraphrase them into first person, with the hope they haunt you too. Here we go…What are the blood and bones of creativity for me?… What is yearning inside me, not just wanting?…What do I get with yearning and dreaming combined? And finally, How does humility play out in creativity?
So, as you mull those over and chew on the gristle of the depth of your own creativity that may come into question, I will ask you this…Whose thirst is being slaked with your creativity? How is it feeding the world? Does it have to be the exact same meaning for me, as I view it, as it was for you the artist creating it? There is a deep longing for me to be seen and understood. This has been an old story, probably for lifetimes. What I have been learning, as I have been painting and writing, is that I am doing it for me first. It is that yearning that wants to come up and out. It is the way I am healing from much of the things, the judgements, the habits and the patterns that I have created in this lifetime. Whether things are done to me or by me, they are 100% my responsibility. That is a tough nugget to chew and a topic for my other blog, “The Seamless Way”.
The creative process is just that, A PROCESS. What comes after that, the posting of the pictures on social media, the display in the gallery or the selling of the art is a different and separate process. Creating is like speaking, once said you cannot take it back. You certainly can explain what you meant, but once said…it is said. Once the paint hits the canvas, it is a statement. Now, my style of painting is done in one sitting. I don’t comeback to a piece and add to it. I keep painting until that thirst is quenched, that itch is scratched, that thought is completed. So, my thirst is slaked by my painting. It may or may not take care of yours, the viewer. That is perfectly ok! You as the viewer can NEVER truly understand my perspective of creating a piece. We can have a conversation about it, you may understand my perspective, it may touch a common thread in you, or it could invoke something totally different. We don’t ever completely understand another person. We see them as WE are, not as THEY are. The same is true for art. And, I would even push the envelop a little further to say, that I am not the same person creating a painting and then viewing it later…even 10 minutes later. The painting process changed me. We are living being that are changing all the time. The blood and bones of my creativity birth something new inside me. That is the humbling aspect of creating. I have the ability to create. That is powerful, and it is solely for me. I am not a “starving artist.” My creative thirst is getting quenched by my artistic expression.
What comes next is the question of, what do I get with yearning and dreaming? Here is where I may go hungry, if I depended on my art sales for my living. I am a self-taught, newbie in the art world. I have had a few shows, had my art in cafes and coffeeshops, and have sold locally. What is my yearning and dreaming? Truthfully, is to help others heal with my art, my experiences and my stories. The conversations around it, the enhancing their environment with it, the writing about it and the teaching workshops to help others find their creative spark. This would slake my thirst! In my dreams, I would be famous and living large on the sales of all of that! Not so humble, I might add. Humility is not selling myself short or thinking I shouldn’t be rich and living large…humility is about doing what is natural and creative without pride or arrogance. There is a delicate balance between confidence and arrogance, between talent/skill and pride. There is a way to show up, share, create and meet your own needs and the needs of the world with your creativity. For me, it is not so important that you know my process or even the question I had while creating a piece. I am curious about how it makes you feel. Does it cause a reaction or response? Does it help you in some way? Even, if it is just in passing. Art creates process. Art creates engagement. It has been doing these things for many many years. There is a thirsty to be slaked! Art and the creative process is a way to quench that thirsty, to lessen that burden, to give a respite to the spirit and to give hope. Please say thank you to an artist for her creativity…even if that artist is you!
Beth is a self-discovered abstract artist. Her work can be found here in the gallery or at local galleries in Winston-Salem, NC. Now through December 31st, find Beth’s art at The Steel Group Architects, 217 W.6th Street Winston-Salem. Want Beth’s work in a gallery near you?