Your Creative Genius

This week I want to bring you some thoughts about creativity from someone who is not an artist, but a writer. You may be familiar with Liz Gilbert the author of Eat, Pray, Love. Below is a video, her TED talk, on the subject of your elusive creative genius. She covers many ideas that all creatives grapple with. Enjoy

 

Among the ideas she discusses is that creativity always leads to suffering, depression, anxiety etc, and she questions whether we really want to maintain that view of creativity. It’s really the whole view of artists that society has adopted, that of the starving artist syndrome.

artists painting photo

Why do we have such a negative view of the creative arts as a lifestyle and career? And I would also question, why does society not support their artists to a greater degree. What is so ironical is that if you stop to think about what are the most important and valuable things in the world.

What has sold for more money than any other commodity – that thing would be a painting. It’s amazing how artists are often vilified, and certainly not encouraged in their career choice, and yet the product of their labours are among the most highly valued things on this earth. Somehow to my mind that doesn’t quite add up.

Pix Credit: orijdotson (Pixabay)

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What Is Unfolding In The Studio This Month? Well, I have spent much of this month working on a new painting. So rather than a long blog post this week, I have put together a video of the whole painting from start to finish.  Well, not quite finished actually.  I have got paint on all the canvas, It is going to take me at least another whole day painting session to go around and put glazes and finishing touches to the work.  It has been quite a marathon this one,  as it is a fairly complex painting.

This is a fairly large work, measuring 102×84 cm or 40″x33″.

 

 

What’s coming up next….I have begun a rather large collaborative project with a photographer friend.  My next works will also be flowers or plants, however, they are being created from a different mindset.  So I will be sharing some thoughts and images of that with you soon.

This Weeks Question: How does collaboration help your creative development?

Look For Next Week’s Post: Creativity Crisis! I’ve Lost My Muse – How To Find It?

hidden insights,creative process,creativity,the seed
Get your Hidden insights, into the creative process now

In gaining hidden insights into the creative process we have to consider the fact that we all process differently. What works for one person may not work for you or I. Of course has been much written about the process of creativity. There are however several key steps in this process regardless of whether you are creating a large project, a painting, design whatever it might be.

 

1.The Seed

It begins with a thought, an idea, the seed, which you have to act on. It’s a risk because you don’t know if it’s going to work but you have to go for it if you believe in it.

2. Mulling It Over

Next step can be to throw the idea out to someone else, friends, community, your mentor,  the people who are going to support you on your journey. Engage and involve them. You might not take this step at this point for a simple thing like a painting, however it might be good to take if you are thinking about putting an exhibition together with a whole series of works. Discussing your ideas with someone helps to flush them out and gives you a chance to make course corrections and so on.

3. Be A Sponge.

The creative process does not happen in a vacuum. In order to create we need input which then equals output. At this stage, you need to act like a sponge, soaking up many different ideas. Look at different mediums, other artists, go to galleries, look in magazines or trawl Pinterest. Our minds often put disparities together to create a new and wonderful thing. If there’s nothing in there to put together then you get nothing coming out. Zero IN = zero or garbage OUT!

4. Crafting

In the stage you are building the skeleton. Is the armature that everything hangs off. If you don’t have a strong foundation to your idea it will collapse. Therefore establishing structure is very important. I often use mind mapping at this point to get my creative juices flowing in some useful and quirky directions.

5. The Shadow

It is at about this time that your shadow will arrive. Fear, dread, doubt, and many other nasty little negatives will pop up, all determined to derail you. This is when you are ready to throw in the towel and that nasty little voice in your head, will try to convince you that there are a thousand reasons why you should do so, all seeming to be quite plausible. I find this stage turns up no matter what the creative thing is that I’m doing. Every painting I’ve ever painted has gone through a patch where I felt – it’s not working, it’ll never be any good, and you might as well quit while you’re ahead.

FEAR SHADOW photo

These are the first five hidden insights into the creative process. There are five more to come which I will place in next week’s Post. It is often a good thing to know where in the creative process you actually are, particularly when you get to the shadow part. To recognise this is where you are and deal with it accordingly can certainly speed up your progress.  We will explore this further next week.

This Weeks Question: Do you have any hidden insights into your own creative process you’d like to share?

Look For Next Week’s Post: More on creative Process – well my process – an update on emerging works.

 

Photo by mripp

So it’s hello and goodbye to the Coromandel Peninsula. Parts of this place are like heaven on earth and I feel very blessed to have had the privilege of growing up and holidaying here as a youngster and later coming back to own a little piece of it. They say Home is where the heart is and this beautiful piece of land will always have a special place in my heart.

Today I leave these green shores for arid OZ. Although I have to say that before I came the weather in OZ had been spectacularly wet. More like NZ weather really.

So this post is really offering some images of things experienced in the last 10 days and wanting to share some of the beauty…..

Coromandel,Pine cones in the sand

Pine cones in the sand

 

 

 

Coromandel,Sail Rock

Sail Rock

 

Coromandel,Pohutakawas on the cliff top

Pohutakawas on the cliff top

 

And so it is goodbye to the land of the long white cloud until I can return once more.

Look For Next Thursday’s Post: More highlights from journeys across the water

 

The Heroines Journey Continues.

So this Heroines journey  has literally taken her across the water – a big ditch that separates Australia from New Zealand. I am on a mythic heroines journey here, tracing the story of my re-emerging creative self which had it’s seeds sown back in May 2013…..

It all began here….

heroines journey cathedral cove

and what followed was a series of intuitive paintings – completed with my non dominant hand. Take a look at my earlier posts on this journey.

In this return journey a friend – budding film maker – Prue Kelsey and I, are exploring these beginnings and making a series of short videos tracing the ‘artists journey’ and development.  As these interviews are completed I will be putting them up on the website for you to see.

 Heroines Journey Cathedral Cove

The above image is one small painting from this series.

Look For Next Thursday’s Post: Snippets from New Zealand

Getting Back To Work

back to work photo

So, getting back to work again after a longish break is never that easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of talking sternly to oneself.

As you know, if you have been reading my blog for a while, I’ve been working through some deep processing in relation to the direction my work is heading.

This has led to an understanding of where to go next and meant finding a way to bridge the gap between where I am now and where I want to go. I am currently engaged in a series of works that examine the relationships between  clothes, feelings and dance.

Back to work -Dancing In The Dark ,Kadira Jennings

Dancing In The Dark I

The first work in the series became an education in something lost and something found.  There is a lesson here for all of us.  You cannot separate yourself from your art. Art is the expression of your creative self.  No matter what you choose to craft – a film, a painting, a novel, it says something about who you are because you are the one who chose that particular thing to do and share with the world.

Back to work -Dancing In The Dark I Detail ,Kadira Jennings

Detail of Dancing In The Dark I

 

This creative expression becomes intrinsic to the full exploration of our lives. Without it we tend to stutter and splutter, stall and fade.  We are not following our ‘raison d’etre’. I kept the first source image of the dresses for many months before beginning the painting.  I didn’t know why I was so drawn to it, I just was. When I finally began the work, oh heavens, the flood gates opened and the tears poured forth.  I realized the work wasn’t about dresses at all.  It was about dancing.  It was about the dancing I’d given up as a teenager for all the wrong reasons and the painting allowed me to grieve for the dancer I never was. How many unacknowledged griefs do you have in your own life?

The challenge is to be alert enough to signals/signs from the universe God, the great spirit – what ever you want to call it/him/her. Pay attention to things that catch your attention, that you are drawn to – even if you don’t understand why at the time.  Painting can be far more than paint on canvas, if you will allow it to be.

After the initial painting of this image, more have emerged, I will share painting number 2 with you in the next post.

This week’s question: How many unacknowledged griefs do you have in your own life, and how might they be blocking you?

Look For Next Thursday’s Post: More on the development of the dress series.

Posted by: Kadira Jennings

Photo by comedy_nose

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