Do you remember all those years ago, when you climbed on your first big bike, with its seat so far from the ground and felt that teetering sway, that giddying rush of fear and exhilaration? Perhaps like me you crashed into the hedge at the bottom of the garden over and over before you could brake, balance and steer?
Yesterday a friend asked me how and why I even think to create an artwork. He expressed total mystification at this ‘alien’ process.
His feelings of inadequacy are surprisingly common, especially amongst adults.
I believe we are all creative, but that only some of us use our creative potential. Much like with numeracy or literacy, we can develop skills and ways of thinking and perceiving that increase our brain’s plasticity in any particular area. As with learning to ride a bike, we need courage, curiosity, persistence and 'bounce-back' to develop creative mastery.
Brené Brown, one of my mentors writes,
“Creativity is straddling the tension, leaning into the discomfort, and finding your way through the dark. There is nothing more vulnerable than creativity.”
I agree with her that it is soul work. Creating enables me to feel whole and present. As I create I connect, explore and make sense of the world. I give tangible form to my ideas, beliefs and feelings and share them with you. The act of creating is life-honouring and giving. It enables me to connect deeply with my essential nature and to celebrate the sacred.
So, if like my friend, you feel mystified or fearful of being creative, I encourage you... strap on your helmet and put on your training wheels again.