Do you have an outlet for creative expression? Remember when you were five years old, and you were an artist? What happened to you? My guess is that someone at some point told you to stay in your lane and that you were not an artist. I could be projecting my own experience, but there you have it.
Maybe you grew older and a little more self-reflective and determined that, perhaps your creations were not that good, and the world is right. For me, I remember the unmitigated joy of a blank sheet of paper and nothing to inhibit the creative forces I was ready to unleash on the world. I really didn’t have the world in mind when my creative forces bubbled up on the paper. It was really my own world that I was creating. I would get lost in my creation and only when it was completed did I take a step back and look at what I had created. I remember always being happy with the product. I had not been creatively kicked in the teeth yet, so I was convinced of its high quality. Who knows, maybe it was good.
The middle part of my life I lived under the belief that everyone was watching everything I did and was prepared to judge it critically. I must tell you that this notion certainly stifled my creative expression. Why try when you will likely fail? This self-talk was common and as a consequence inhibited the creative process.
Now that I am much older, I realize that what the world thinks is not all that important to me anymore, and I am creeping back into the creative realm once again. I hope to tap into that revelry in my own creation that I once had, as I look for new ways to explore creative expression. I am not likely to start painting, however I won’t rule it out. I used to sketch and draw and still have my drawing pads and pencils from 30 years ago. I have always enjoyed photography and love to explore and compose nature and landscape photographs. I began a writing journey several years ago, which allowed me to discipline myself to write and publish a book about stuff I know. Perhaps, I will explore fiction in the future. In the meantime, the ruminations that I share in this blog will have to do.
To me, it is exciting to think about the endless possibilities of being creative. It has never been and will never be for commercial purposes. As I see it, that changes everything and turns it into another business. I want to create for the sole purpose of creating and capturing scenes or ideas or compositions I find pleasing. The inner critic has been softening in me, and perhaps he found someone else to try and destroy. The need to be accepted by others for my pursuits also doesn’t interest me. I want to capture my eight-year-old self’s unadulterated joy of marveling at my own creation. I know it’s out there; I just need to keep pursuing it.
How about you? Did you once sing, or play an instrument, paint, dance or mold clay in such a way that you impressed even yourself? Perhaps it is time to take another stab at it and give it a go. A word of caution, if your passion is the clarinet, you may want to hone this skill in an empty house while you are getting started. The clarinet is an unforgiving instrument, and you don’t need family members plugging their ears as you master Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
I would love to hear how you express yourself creatively.