Creative Magic

You may have noticed that this blog of mine has been titled Creativity Is within Us All. It’s not only something I have put there (look to the right), I truly have faith in it. I do believe we are all creative beings—as long as we are willing to uncover our creative abilities, which lies within us. It takes courage. It takes faith. But it’s there. This is how I see it metaphorically: the universe hides gems deep within us, and then stands back to see if we can find them.

Sometimes these gems reveal themselves without any effort from us. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to uncover one. When it happens, however it does, when a sudden idea out of the air appears for our inner eyes, it feels like magic.

Elizabeth Gilbert—the bestselling author of Eat Pray Live—does think it’s magic. Literally. In her book Big Magic about creative living, she writes: “I believe the creative process is both magical and magic.” She believes our planet is inhabited with ideas, as disembodied, energetic life form. These are ideas can only be made manifest through collaboration with a human partner.

“When an idea thinks it has found somebody—say, you—who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. It will try to get your attention. Mostly, you will not notice. This is likely because you’re are consumed by your own drama, anxieties, distractions, insecurities, and duties that you aren’t receptive to inspiration. […] But sometimes—rarely, but magnificently—there comes a day when you’re open and relaxed enough to actually receive something.”

Personally, I don’t quite believe as literally in ideas as real life forms, but I think, as a metaphor, Gilbert’s description gives a way of understanding how creativity works. It’s the way it feels when we are struck by ideas. As something, that just comes out of nowhere to be grabbed.

It’s up to us what we want to do with ideas that come our way. We can ignore them, we can think it’s too hard to follow through or we can say yes to the idea and make something out of is, however hard it’s going to be. For Gilbert the point is really how you embrace the ideas. She suggests to cooperate fully, humbly, and joyfully with the inspiration. You may not achieve success or make a living in your creative pursuit, but if you welcome creativity into life as such, enjoying being creative for itself, you will thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting , passionate existence.

Another quote from Big Magic: “I believe that inspiration will always try its best to work with you—but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and search for a different human collaborator. This happens to a lot of people actually. This is how it comes to pass that one morning you open the newspaper and discover somebody else has written your book, or directed your play, or released your record, or […]”

Whether or not you believe in ideas literally as life form is not important. What is important is to act on inspiration when it arrives. Not wait until better times. Not postpone until the idea is fully developed. Not put off until a better idea comes around. Not delay because you don’t feel ready.

Are you ready to act on inspiration when it strikes?

Advertisements

Every Child is an Artist


Creativity requires that we open up to our child inside of us again. As we grow out of childhood, we lose our ability to boil over with that spontaneous, childish creativity. As grownups we need to behave and we need to conform to the norms of the society. And in doing so, we lose this wonderful creativity that every one of us has experience and held in our souls as children.

«Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up». Those are the words of none other than Pablo Picasso; one who indeed was able to keep the child within him alive.

How do the rest of us keep that child in us alive? There is no easy answer to the question. But for a starter; let go of all those inhibitions adulthood has imposed upon us. Don’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself. Take joy in all those small moments life presents to us around every corner. Be curios. Be blissful. And express all your inherent creativity as often as you can, not thinking about what others will think about it and not thinking about whether you know how to do it or not. Create with joy and excitement!

«What most people need more than anything is to unlearn what they’ve learned, to be less serious about everything and anything that otherwise contributes to their stress, because they futilely attempt to achieve some ridiculously lofty standard.» This is Lorenzo Dominques and the quote is taken from his highly successful book 25 Lessons I’ve Learned about Photography…Life.

He continues: «When you can integrate play into your work somehow, when you can laugh at all your mistakes, when you find yourself smiling for most of the day, then you’ll find that you’re achieving something worthwhile. If you can’t whistle while you work, if you’re consistently miserable while you toil, than maybe it is time that you either change careers or change your attitude (at least, until you find a new job).»

Maybe you don’t need to change career. But if you want to get back to that blissful creative feeling you had in you all the time as a kid, it’s really time to bring that child out again, be less serious about yourself, and simply have more fun. Don’t you think?

Burning the Man






Burning Man is the creation of a city in the middle of a desert in Nevada, USA. That’s it and that’s that. Basically. But of course it’s just not any city. It’s a city so full of creativity and creative souls that it can blow your mind. It’s a week of intense and strong impression. It’s a sharing community that is based on not taking but of giving. It’s an alternative to the commercialized and greedy society that’s taken over the rest of the world – or most of it. And it’s an environmental experiment – with 60 or 70 thousand people leaving no trace behind when they move out of the desert again.

But more than anything Burning Man is pure fun and joy. If you are willing to let yourself immerse into an intense experience.

Because Burning Man is very intense. When the up to 70 thousand inhabitants of Black Rock City – as the temporary city is called, taking its name from the desert it rises from – party around the clock for a week, it’s bound to be crazy. It’s loud, it’s hot, it’s wild, it’s a visual explosion, it’s white outs, it’s thirst, it’s contemplations, it’s friendship and it’s brother/sisterhood.

Burning Man is definitely a place for extroverts. There is no denying that Burning Man is a lot about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll (well, not really rock and roll, but more trance, ambient and electronic dance music). And no reason to deny it – it’s part of the fun and the liberty of Burning Man. For me Burning Man is in many ways a very American event, seeing it as a reaction to the conformity of the regular American society – where even showing a bare breast is more than most people can take. At the same time it’s an incredible arena for creativity and artistry, of visual expressions and a lot of good ethics – as mentioned before. At the bottom line Burning Man is really about sharing, giving and conscious existence. It’s definitely an experience to recommend – despite the hardship of being in the middle of a desert, with heat and dust and more dust…







Every Child is an Artist


Having just returned from Burning Man at Black Rock Desert in Nevada, I thought it would be pertinent to draw some reflexions from that high energy mass event. In this post I will only use the event as a canvas for thoughts related to creativity, but I promise I will get back to the actual event in a later post – after I have edited and processed the pictures I took in Black Rock Desert.

Burning Man is a very special festival, and a lot can be said about it, but one thing that really struck me was the incredible amount of creative burst being emitted all over the place during those intense days in the desert. Burners – as they are called – put a lot of energy into creating their different camps and they build installations and works of art – some of them huge and quite impressive – on the so-called Playa, which lies in the centre of this huge temporary city that is created out in one of the most hostile environments one can imagine. Burners made performances, they gave lectures, and they made all kinds of fun arrangements for other Burners. And most evidently they used themselves as creative expressions, applying clothes, apparels, hair design, lights, constructions to strap on themselves or just make-up and lots of colours. It was very playful, and it seems like Burning Man brings out the child in every participant. And that is exactly where I want to go with this post.

Creativity requires that we open up to our child inside of us again. As we grow out of childhood, we lose our ability to boil over with that spontaneous, childish creativity. As grownups we need to behave and we need to conform to the norms of the society. And in doing so, we lose this wonderful creativity that every one of us has experience and held in our souls as children.

«Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up». Those are the words of none other than Pablo Picasso; one who indeed was able to keep the child within him alive.

How do the rest of us keep that child in us alive? There is no easy answer to the question. But for a starter; let go of all those inhibitions adulthood has imposed upon us. Don’t be afraid to make a fool out of yourself. Take joy in all those small moments life presents to us around every corner. Be curios. Be blissful. And express all your inherent creativity as often as you can, not thinking about what others will think about it and not thinking about whether you know how to do it or not. Create with joy and excitement!

«What most people need more than anything is to unlearn what they’ve learned, to be less serious about everything and anything that otherwise contributes to their stress, because they futilely attempt to achieve some ridiculously lofty standard.» This is Lorenzo Dominques and the quote is taken from his highly successful book 25 Lessons I’ve Learned about Photography…Life.

He continues: «When you can integrate play into your work somehow, when you can laugh at all your mistakes, when you find yourself smiling for most of the day, then you’ll find that you’re achieving something worthwhile. If you can’t whistle while you work, if you’re consistently miserable while you toil, than maybe it is time that you either change careers or change your attitude (at least, until you find a new job).»

Maybe you don’t need to change career. But if you want to get back to that blissful creative feeling you had in you all the time as a kid, it’s really time to bring that child out again, be less serious about yourself, and simply have more fun. Don’t you think?