It has been a hot week, topped off by a scorching Sunday afternoon. I emerged from the air-conditioned office to find Hot Rod working in his shop. He didn’t notice the heat or the humidity, and barely noticed me. He was engrossed in creative effort, making something out of something else…a beautiful, multicolored, hand-crafted bowl. For him, the artistic expression is as important as air. He will work long into the night, thinking about, planning, working, reworking, abandoning and revisiting an objet d’art. I’m convinced that’s why he is such a great hydronics mechanic. He plays with the components. He builds affinity with the materials. He is one with his craft, his trade.
“Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life.” ~Henry Miller
As children, we revel in our imagination. As we grow up, we have the creativity beaten, bullied or criticized out of us. It’s still in there. Sometimes it comes out in our work. My intent here is to encourage you to let your creativity loose. Julia Cameron is a screenwriter, a kooky Hollywood type. She helps writers get unblocked and painters put paint on canvas. Have you ever sat and stared at a boiler and not had a clue as to what was wrong with the darn thing? That’s got to feel a lot like staring at a blank Word document or stretched canvas. Julia offers exercises for getting unstuck and tapping into your unique creativity. Check out her website. I warn you, you will encounter some fairly “groovy” advice. For instance, Julia maintains that, “Spending time in solitude with your artist child is essential to self-nurturing.” Hold your inner critic in check and try a few of her exercises.
Here’s a good one: Julia suggests that you spend your very first waking moments every day writing “Morning Pages.” Morning pages are at least three pages of stream of consciousness writing. It can be total crap. That’s fine. Get the crap out of your head and on to the page so that you can be done with it for the day. You may surprise yourself by recalling a dream or discovering a solution to a problem. You may be unaware of the words you are writing until they appear on the page. It doesn’t matter. Just make yourself write…at least three pages every morning. Try it for a month as see what happens.
Developing your creative side will have a positive impact on your work and your relationships. Creative expression is a worthwhile adventure, an end in itself. Experiencing and appreciating art requires that you be fully present and sublimely alive. We are creative beings. Lay claim to your divinity. Unleash your artistic beast.
Hot Rod paints with copper. Julia with words. What’s your medium? I like to approach the business of business as a game, as a creative experience. I also love to spend big chunks of time exploring arts and crafts, conceptualizing, then using my hands to bring an idea to life. I don’t do it nearly enough, and watching Hot Rod play today reminded me of the power, the importance, of the creative process.
“I shut my eyes in order to see.” ~Paul Gauguin
I would be honored if you would share your art with me. Leave a comment! Let me know how YOU have let your creativity loose.