5/23/10

Trusting Your Inner Artist

Do you remember the last time you allowed your inner-artist to create?
Maybe you were walking down the road and the clouds and the tree-tops reminded you of an epic, underworld battle. In your mind, the details of your sensory input morphed into an implication about all humanity. You allowed it to take place, and you were an artist.
The great author J.R.R. Tolkien invented Middle Earth while fighting in the trenches of World War I. Every moment is an opportunity to focus on your craft.
Perhaps you decided, in an “ah-ha” moment, to hang the wind chime you made in third grade from the orange tree in the back yard, next to the banjo-playing frog made of plaster and, by arranging those objects as you saw fit, you pleased your inner-artist.
Once, while in California for a wedding, I turned the coffee table in my hotel room upside-down, unfolded the ironing board and placed it on top, took out the iron, set it on the ironing board, and adorned the arrangement with a lamp shade. I titled it “Hotel Room Art,” and some people from the wedding party shuffled through to see my creation. It got good reviews. I followed my hunch, my instincts, my dream-like inspirations, and created a proud memory of my trip.
I never had formal training in painting. But one day I felt the urge to paint, and two weeks later had created the self-acclaimed “Thought Garden,” now featured in the gallery of my bedroom.
How about those original song lyrics that have been bouncing around your head for months? Give them life, write them down, see how they look on paper, and finish them. Trust it. Do it. Don’t be nervous, don’t sweat it. Then share them with others. Finish your projects, but know when to set them down, give them your signature, and deem them “complete.” Then move on. There’s more art to create.
And that idea for a screenplay or novel you never found the time to write? Or maybe you’re worried about the grammar, spelling, and punctuation? Who cares! Get it down, find the time, and edit it later. Don’t worry about it being good or bad, because artistic expressions, if done with the full commitment and veracity of the human spirit, will always be good. Trust yourself for once.
What stops us from acting on those impulses to create, refine, and symbolize? We all can be artists by opening our minds and listening to our hearts. People often ignore those artistic impulses that emerge during their busy and bustling lives. Is work preventing your progress, holding you back from creating art, from applying meaning and substance to a shadowy, illusory world? Is the constant game of relationships and interaction distracting you from the beauty glowing within you, bristling at every moment? Have we defined our lives in terms of rigidity and structure--the normal, working chump staying safe and secure, free of judgment from an unforgiving society; the artist neglected and laughed at behind his back?
The accumulation of wealth and status is the illusion of progress. The artist’s progress happens from within, in the murky depths of the human subconscious where thoughts and feelings intermingle, where words and ideas fly around as sea birds feeding on the chum at the surface of the water, the shores of existence. This is the most real reality we have, the one connecting us to the spider-web of energy we call humanity. Without art, we are but shells of humans, listless lumps of lard, disconnected, isolated, and blocked from the beauty which birthed us.
Instead of succumbing to that dull and meaningless existence, choose to be a medium for the expressions of the cosmos. Open your channels to the art forms eager to flow through you. Nurture, develop, and trust your inner artist.

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