Can you afford to be an artist in this age of global warming, insanely rising gas prices, ever expanding technology, and the constant need to keep on top of your own life's details in an orderly fashion? Has art become a frill for the flaky?
I was sideswiped by this prejudice recently: “Of course you'd have a problem being organized, because you're an artist !" It might seem to some that the combination of creativity and orderliness cannot exist in one person at the same time, or that art is an indulgence for after the real work.
In the words of Ursula Franklin, feminist, educator, Quaker, and physicist: “Peace is not just the absence of war, but the presence of justice. "
In the same way, effective art of any kind is not just the absence of chaos, but the presence of organized inspiration. The artist needs an organizing principle to do justice to an inspired expression before it can really come to life.
I've been annoyed by flaky plumbers who just winged it without method, and I've been deeply touched by the work of artists who must have been highly organized in order to make a successful career in such a dog-eat-dog world.
Were the prehistoric painters of those lively animals on cave walls organized or flaky?
Their lives were probably taken up just staying alive, hunting for food, and shelter. We know they hadn't developed written language yet, and I doubt they made the drawings for decorative purposes. If there were any flaky cave persons, I imagine they didn't survive long enough to make cave drawings for any reason.
Surely we are all born with the potential for all the Qualities, including creative expression !
But then it follows that we also have the inborn capacity for every other quality too - to be organized, flaky, destructive, evil, merciful, loving, etc. . We don't necessarily develop every potential.
Anyone who relies heavily or exclusively on technique and methodology is probably using their mind to make things happen. If you have learned how to access your spirit reliably, this doesn't mean that you throw aside technique and method. It just means that you lead with your heart - your inner knowing, instead of with your mind.
Creativity, if it is to be innovative or original, is by definition unknown at the start. The mind is a wonderful tool and very good at what it does best, but the mind does not handle the unknown very well at all. So, how can anyone create with only their mind?
Once you have witnessed, experienced, felt what wants to be expressed through you, then your skillful mind can help you find ways of manifesting this inspiration, using techniques and methods, if you like.
Using the mind alone to make visual images results in dead things, art without underlying heart, no matter how skilfully it's rendered. Just winging it without any organization results in a dog's breakfast - chaos.
You don't have to be flaky to be plugged into an infinite source of creative inspiration. Start with a good dose of spiritual connection, and add some appropriate skills to manifest this spirit, and you have real art.
Sufis have a saying: “Take in the world with your heart, and then understand it with your mind. " Successful artists are spiritually tuned into inspiration, and regularly apply the order and perspiration needed to manifest this spirit.
The art work that lies inside you waiting to have life breathed into it could offer that heartwarming touch that makes all the difference. It could be the very inspiration that triggers a solution to global warming or violence, to the need for connection or compassion in others who see it.
Hello, I'm Celeste Varley and it is my passion to help people seeking spiritual development to find and explore their own inborn potential for visual expression. Once you learn a new way of seeing, you can access and express deeper feelings that are normally hidden. If this article speaks to your heart, you may want to see more “Fresh Horses" articles on my website. Check it out and see if it's right for you.
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