Recently, I signed up for a free online course called Creative Sandbox 101, created by one of my favorite inspirationalists, Melissa Dinwiddie. The course is designed to unlock our creativity by showing us how to play again, play like we did when we were just starting out in our art or craft, or like we did when we were children. It’s a really neat course and I’m enjoying it a lot.
While going through the course, I came across a question: How would you approach your creativity differently if you knew there was no wrong way to do it?
It’s a fascinating question. What if “wrong” didn’t exist? How would that affect me creatively?
Well, I think I’d experiment with different mediums more often. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I love ink, but I think I’d try different mediums now and then. I also think I’d try different styles. And I would probably create more often. As it is now, I find I need a certain situation to be able to create, and I create in a very precise, controlled manner. While my mind and soul are free when I create a Soulprint, my body is anything but.
That kind of brings up a chicken-or-egg kind of question: Does my style need for me to be precise, or is my style the way it is because being precise is just part of who I am?
I’ve often heard stories about creative people not sleeping or eating, being completely obsessed with their work, until it’s done and they’re completely drained of energy. While I’m definitely drained of emotional energy after I’m finished with a Soulprint, I can’t say I go for days without eating or sleeping. I don’t think that’s something I’ve ever done.
It makes me wonder: What makes me different? Why is my story different from the stories of other artists? I mean, am I not really an artist? Is being obsessed with your work to the point of bodily deprivation the prerequisite for being an artist? Is it because I’m actually not right-brained, but middle-brained? Is it simply because I’m chronically ill and can’t go against my body’s needs without suffering dire consequences, so I’ve learned over the years that it’s necessary to take care of myself?
I don’t know the answers to all of that. Who knows, maybe all of it’s true in one fashion or another. But one thing I do know is this:
There already is no wrong.
Wrong already doesn’t exist. Whatever I create, even if it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, it isn’t “wrong.” It propels me to greater understanding. Each “wrong” thing I do, I learn something. Each time I’ve made a “mistake” in an artwork, it has sparked something else. Hell, even times when I do everything in an artwork “right,” it often sparks a new idea or a new way of thinking or a new way of doing.
Such is the nature of creativity. It is elusive and fragile and will shatter into a million pieces if you try to grab it tightly, but if you just show up and put the time in, it will sit on your shoulder and guide you every step of the way.