“Naked I came into the world, but brush strokes cover me, language raises me, music rhythms me. Art is my rod and my staff, my resting place and shield, and not mine only, for art leaves nobody out. Even those from whom art has been stolen away by tyranny, by poverty, begin to make it again. If the arts did not exist, at every moment, someone would begin to create them, in song, out of dust and mud, and although the artifacts might be destroyed, the energy that creates them is not destroyed. If, in the comfortable West, we have chosen to treat such energies with skepticism and contempt, then so much the worse for us.” by Jeanette Winterson
Over the years, many people have told me that they are not creative. They think that they are not creative because they don’t paint, sculpt, make jewellery or do any of the things that we perceive as being creative. This is not true! I believe that everyone is creative, but they may not think that what they do is creative or they may not even have discovered their creative energy yet.
The word inspire comes from Latin, “inspiritus” meaning to breathe into. This came to be associated with divine or supernatural guidance from a deity or outside force. Artists throughout the centuries have called upon goddesses, gods and other divine beings for inspiration for their art. The most well known of these are the nine Muses in ancient Greek mythology. These daughters of Zeus each presided over a specific discipline, such as music, poetry or dance. Even today, we still use the term muse for someone or something that inspires us.
The word create also comes from Latin, in this case “creare”, which means to bring forth. We “breathe in” an experience and “bring forth” our creation, whatever it may be. In fact, we are constantly creating, whether or not we realize it. Everything we experience during our lives becomes a part of us and from those experiences comes our reality which we express in an infinite number of ways.
When we are children, we create gleefully with whatever materials are at hand. We don’t worry about colouring in the lines or if what we are creating is acceptable to anyone else. We create because something we have seen or heard or touched has inspired us to create, to interpret our experiences in a way we understand. In doing so, we are both vulnerable and strong at the same time. Vulnerable because we are revealing our true selves on a very intimate level and thusly, opening ourselves to criticism and disapproval from others who may not share or even understand our perspective. Strong, because to do so takes courage in the face of possible ridicule and rejection, not only from society at large, but possibly even those closest to us.
We create because we must, because the act of creation tells our story to the rest of the world and we each have a story to tell. Creativity connects us with each other when we tell our stories of joy, sorrow, and all the hidden and wounded parts of ourselves that, in our fear, we have pushed away and denied. It reminds us that we have more in common than not and that the story each of us tells is our own, and yet somehow, everyone’s. When we see art that moves us, we are bearing witness to someone’s story and their vulnerability and bravery in telling it. And so it is with us.
Do not be afraid to tell your story through whatever medium inspires you. It can be painting, sculpting, making jewellery or any one of an infinite number of ways to express yourself. It doesn’t even need to make sense to anyone else, but it will to someone. And because of that, you will make a connection. And if enough of us are brave enough to tell our stories and make those connections, together we will create a work of art- a loving and peaceful world.
The Beadist (Laurie)