The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Perhaps this is the familiar, coming back to us in an unfamiliar form. Or maybe it is something unknown that we didn't realize we were looking for. A missing piece in a puzzle that has no end.

...a more innocent state of wonder and appreciation not tethered to utility or survival.

The act of creation is an attempt to enter a mysterious realm. A longing to transcend.

The objective is not to learn to mimic greatness, but to calibrate our internal meter for greatness.

When we go inside, we are processing what's going on outside. We're no longer separate. We're connected. We are one.
We create pieces reflective of who we are, and if insecurity is part of who we are, then our work will have a greater degree of truth in it as a result.
It's worth noting the distinction between doubting the work and doubting yourself.

Sometimes disengaging is the best way to engage.

Remove intention and all that's left is the ornamental shell.

Rules direct us to average behaviors. 

As soon as you use a label to describe what you're working on, there's a temptation to conform to its rules.

Listening then, is not just awareness. It's freedom from accepted limitations.

Consider how different your experience of the world might be if you engaged in every activity with the attention you might give to landing a plane.
Our continual quest for efficiency discourages looking too deeply.
If we remove time from the equation of a work's development, what we're left with is patience.

Tuning in to what enlivens us in the moment instead of what we think will work.

For the mind to draw inspiration, it wants space to welcome the new.

The more set in your personal regimen, the more freedom you have within that structure to express yourself.
Discipline is not a lack of freedom, it is a harmonious relationship with time.
Put the decision making into the work, not into when to work. 

Create an environment 
where you're free to express 
what you're afraid to express.
The work reveals itself as you go.
Failure is the information you need to get where you're going.

To dismiss an idea because it doesn't work in your mind is to do a disservice to the art.

Remain open to doing whatever it takes to make the art as good as it can be, whether this means inserting yourself more into the details of the process or stepping further from them.

Art is a reflection of the artist's inner and outer world during the period of creation. Extending the period complicates the artist's ability to capture a state of being.

The goal of art isn't to attain perfection. The goal is to share who we are. And how we see the world.

Our point of view doesn't have to be coherent. And it's rarely simple. We may have different, and sometimes contradictory, points of view across a variety of topics. Aiming to narrow it all down to one elegant expression is unrealistic and limiting.

Expressing oneself in the world and creativity are the same. It may not be possible to know who you are without somehow expressing it.

When you believe the work before you is the single piece that will forever define you, it's difficult to let it go. The urge for perfection is overwhelming. It's too much. We are frozen, and sometimes end up convincing ourselves that discarding the entire work is the only way to move forward. ... The only art the world gets to enjoy is from creators who've overcome these hurdles and released their work.

In an environment where nothing is permanent, we produce static artifacts. Mementos of spirit. We hope they'll live forever, holding resonance through each passing decade. Some might, many won't. It's impossible to know. We can only keep building. 

We create our art so we may inhabit it ourselves.

And to make each new work, no matter where you stand on the ladder of public perception, like you have nothing to lose.

If we can tune in to the idea
of making things and sharing them
without being attached to the outcome,
the work is more likely 
to arrive in its truest form.

So little was needed to make the leap from mediocrity to greatness. 

Latent ideas and emotions hiding in deeper layers of the psyche may find their way into our lyrics, scenes, and canvases.

A new pattern begins to emerge in your brain. What was strange becomes a little more familiar.

This of self-competition as a quest for evolution. The object is not to beat our other work. It's to move things forward and create a sense of progression. Growth over superiority.

Notice how many pieces you can remove before the work you're making ceases to be the work you're making.

In the end,
the sum total of the essence of our individual works
may serve as a reflection.
The closer we get
to the true essence of each work,
the sooner they will somehow,
at some point in time,
provide clues as to our own.
Generally our explanations are guesses. These vague hypotheticals become fixed in our minds as fact. We are interpretation machines, and this process of labeling and detaching is efficient but not accurate. We are the unreliable narrators of our own experience.
The more we identify with our self as it exists through the eyes of others, the more disconnected we become and the less energy we have to draw from. ... We extend our reach for a higher consciousness.

...we allow it to come by grace, not effort.

...where a deeper part of you overrides your conscious intention and offers an elegant solution.
Experimenting and building on the results. Faith is rewarded, perhaps even more than talent or ability.
In attempting to navigate a large, uncertain world, we develop beliefs that give us a coherent framework, reduced options, and a false sense of certainty.

Do what you can
with what you have.
Nothing more is needed.

...because sometimes the smallest elements are the ones that weigh the most.

If we like what we are creating, we don't have to know why.

There are sides of ourselves that aren't welcome in polite society, thoughts and feelings too dark to share. When we recognize them expressed in art, we feel less alone.

Practice gets us part of the way there. Then it takes time for practice to be absorbed into the body.

Our level of skill influences our ability to best articulate this translation, in the same way vocabulary affects communication.

Time is where learning occurs. Unlearning as well.

Sharing your art is the price of making it. Exposing your vulnerability is the fee.

We inhabit many different versions of a changing self. The suggestion to be yourself may be too general to be of much use. There's being yourself as an artist, being yourself with your family, being yourself at work, being yourself with friends, being yourself in times of crisis or in times of peace, and being yourself for yourself, when by yourself.

There may be a dreamer aspect, aspiring to inhabit vast magnificent worlds, at odds with our pragmatic side that questions our ability to make our dreams real.
The more we accept our prismlike nature, the more free we become to create in different colors and the more we trust the inconsistent instincts we hold while making art.
Some aspects of the self don't like to be approached head-on. They prefer to arrive indirectly, in their own way. As sudden glimpses caught in accidental moments, like sunlight glinting off the surface of a wave.

The magic is not in the analyzing or the understanding. The magic lives in the wonder of what we do not know.
The artwork is the point where all the elements come together—the universe, the prism of self, the magic and discipline of transmuting idea to flesh. And if these lead you into contradiction—into territories that seem unbridgeable or unknowable—that doesn't mean they aren't harmonious.

Even in perceived chaos, there's order and pattern. A cosmic undercurrent running through all things, which no story is immense enough to contain.