Something that occurred to me today, was to talk about how we engage with creativity; why we do or don’t engage with it and about making time for it. There are many issues here to look at, so let’s list them to begin an ongoing discussion. Of course there may well be more than this.

1. We are all creative – except me that is.

2. We aren’t all born creative and I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

3. I love being creative, I just can’t seem to find the time.

4. Creativity is for weirdos and I don’t want to be like that.

5. I’m a businessman/woman and I don’t have the time or inclination for creativity.

6. What use is creativity anyway?

7. I’ll get back to it when my kids are older or I retire.

8. I can’t earn a living being creative – starving artist syndrome.

9. I wish I could be creative, I just don’t know where to start.

10. Creativity is just an excuse to not be responsible.

11. Get a REAL job.

There are probably many, many more statements that spring to mind, and you know what, we all have our own special one.  I’m sure you may have said some of these very things to your self at one time or another. So I am going to begin at the beginning, because at the core of every single one of these statements are two very important things which are addressed in the first two items on the list.  Really everything else stems from them!

1. FIRSTLY – it is a universal principle – we are ALL creative and YOU are NOT  the exception!

In order to address these statements let’s look at the whole idea of creativity a little more closely. The first thing to be clear about is that there is nothing original under the sun. All creativity is built on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Even The Renaissance had it’s seeds in the cave paintings of the ancients. When we create an ‘original’ work we are always using some element of something that some one before us has created, even if it is a beautiful landscape we are sitting in, not even a photograph of one. The amazing Creator of our planet created it.

Often as artists we get bogged down in the place of, I’ve got to produce something new and original, something awesome that no one has ever done before. I think that secretly there is a little bit of that wish in all of us. However do you think that expectation is either realistic or possible?

What we can achieve is something that may appear to be original but is founded on past works. I did a series of paintings in 2011-2012 that actually honoured the creators before us. I used various elements, from Ancient Greece, to a facade from Venice, old clocks and so on.  Below is one of these works.



The boy is a statue from Ancient Greece, the golden leaves from a piece of ancient Roman glassware, the lace work from a Venetian window and the Roman numerals on the clock are from an old clock in Sydney.

This Weeks Question: What can you use to build on that someone else before you has already created?

One of the biggest barriers that many of us have to unlocking our own creativity, has to do with our perception of who we are or what we have or don’t have in the world. I’m too young, I’m too old, I haven’t enough money, experience, the right space, time  …… add whatever fits for you.  Of course these are all excuses.  Far better to think of oneself as an awakening creative spirit  and how you express yourself on that journey!

There’s a lot to be said for engaging with children and following their lead.  After going out for breakfast yesterday we spent the morning at the beach with grand daughter Gracie, getting creative with sand. Rediscovering the fun in building castles, moats and breakwaters we defied the incoming tide and all delighted in saving our walls gain and again.

Building Candcastles

As you can see age was no barrier here and more importantly we all spent a “delight-ful” morning together.  Everyone was totally engaged in the ‘present’, experiencing many joyful moments.  The amazing thing about creativity is that it can always take us there if we allow it to!

Today’s Question: What creative activity are you going to engage in this week that will allow you to enter ‘the present’ with a joyful and child like presence?

Well almost – it is September in a few days.  The Jasmine is flowering outside my window and filling my office with it’s heavenly perfume.  The Magnolia trees are covered in their giant maroon and white flowers and today I saw some peach trees draped in hundreds of fragile pink blossoms.

Spring always brings that delightful quickening of fresh new energy.  It is a great time for beginning new projects and casting aside the detritus of Winter.

In honour of Spring, I would like to share a video made by a good friend – Prue Kelsey.  It’s beautiful, a lovely tribute to Spring I feel.

spring from Prue Tee on Vimeo.

What will you do to celebrate Spring? What project can you bring the fresh Spring Creative energy to?

Continuing on with Monday’s thoughts, I’d like to share some observations on the similarities between life and design concepts.

One particular aspect of this is the creative element of contrast.  Our world is filled with contrast – light-dark, soft-hard, rough-smooth, sweet-sour, etc. as through the senses, life vibrates inwards. Life without contrast can be bland, tepid, boring, flat.

Flat Tyre

Life Can Be Flat

Of course too much contrast can leave us feeling quite the opposite.

Roller Coaster

Too Much Contrast

Therefore we need that other design element to counteract either ends of this scale and that is balance or harmony.

In Art, as in Life, we create harmony often through a counter-weighted balance of opposites.  Hence the term – ‘add a little spice to your life’.

In green paintings, a tiny splash or two of red (the complimentary or opposite colour to green) creates interest and life that would otherwise be lacking.

  • Where do you need more or less ‘spice in your life or art work?’
  • How might you use contrast to achieve this?

Pix Credits – The Morgue File – Life Can Be Flat, Too Much Contrast

Are You Creative?

Many people think that creativity is limited to visual artists, musicians, actors and other art forms. We often don’t consider that every man made thing we see in the world, from the obscure to the sublime,  began as a creative thought in someones head. Take these shoes I found the other day at Trend Hunter, aside from destroying your feet, well yes………

Weird Shoe

Weird and Wonderfully Creative Shoes

I mean come on girls – now is there really a woman out there who is that much of a slave to fashion that she would actually wear these things.  Hmmm …… probably!! LOL!

Regardless – I think you would have to say that they are undeniably creative!…………..

They lead me to wonder where the creative spark came from. A visit to the zoo perhaps or was it the ballet?

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