Where have all the artists gone?
You're out there. I know you are. You are currently in hiding. First of all, just the description "artist" (or writer, poet, actor, etc.) strikes terror in your heart. That neon sign blinking "I'm not good enough to even think the title, much less say it out loud" is emblazoned in your being. BUT, deep down, you know and feel that creativity is a part of who you are, your soul. It fights with you and longs to be honored and recognized.
Can you remember a time when you picked up a paint brush or those large crayons and painted/colored with energy and joy? You put your whole self into your work, moving your arm and entire body, and created tales to go with your pictures. You were probably very young and the adults found your creations of purple spotted ponies, lollipop trees, and suns with fingers "precious." Your efforts were applauded and encouraged. Then something happened. As you grew older, inner and outer critics began taking over and judging your creations. They arrived in the form of words, looks, comparisons, and grades. You were measured against someone else's criteria. This is when many of us began hushing our purple spotted pony voice. It needed to be locked away in a safe place.
Picasso said it took him years to learn to draw like a child. That freedom! That freshness! Children know they are creative. They have the confidence to draw anything. Just watch a four-year-old at work. What color to use, how to lay out the picture, where to put what, are all non-issues. They don't just stare at the white page contemplating how to begin. They work with enthusiasm, unhindered by the outside world. If asked about something in their picture they answer in a tone of disbelief that it isn't apparent.
Discovery. It's all about discovery. That inner voice has been squelched for so long. We procrastinate. We deny. We're busy. We're tired. There's no time. Who cares anyway? YOU DO. Your inner soul does. It is who you are. Listen to that voice. Discover meaning. Confront the fear. Discover your safe place. Decide you matter. Rediscover the artist you are.
Now stop shaking before you get a number on the Richter scale and let's go paint purple spotted ponies together!
Kaleidoscope Art Studio
Other Articles by Kathy, from Active Seniors newspaper:
Let's Paint Purple Spotted Ponies - Kathy's thoughts on teaching and learning art
Injured by Art - Childhood slights can live forever
New Year's Revolution - Resolve to be creative
True Confessions - Creativity is fun
May the Little People Be With You - Coloring books revisited
Spring Is a New Beginning - Planting creative seeds
Art Is Healing - Relaxation exercise
Your Muse is One of Your Guardian Angels - Creativity is part of your soul
Lollipop Trees - Trees are the pulse and hearbeat of the earth
Gypsies, Pirates, and a King - The Renaissance Faire
An Apple a Day - A simple drawing lesson
May You Dance - Never lose your sense of wonder
I'm Not Good Enough - Oh yes you are!
Strange Visitor from Another Planet - Wait! It's You!