This post originally ran April 27, 2019
When people ask what my blog is about, I often say it’s an inspirational blog to help people tap into and support their inner artist. “Oh, that’s not for me,” some reply. “I’m not creative. And I’m certainly not an artist.”
I’m always a little surprised by that response. It makes me realize somewhere down the line we all formed opinions of what a creative person is. Mostly, we think of creative people as those who work or dabble in the traditional arts (music, dance, writing, painting, etc.). Or people who use their creativity to develop new products or services. Or people who work in “creative fields,” like graphic artists or architects or craft brewers.
Why do we do that? Why do we put boxes around our art? Why do we label our creativity? With so many changes that need to be made in our world right now, so many big problems to solve, so many people to help, we need an army of inner artists to tackle the challenges we face. Now is not the time to deny you even have an inner artist, now is the time to ask him to step up.
Some of the most creative, most brilliant people I know are not professional artists. They’re not even hobby artists. But they’ll tell me a story about a new program they proposed that will improve their homelife, community, or workplace.
“How did you come up with that idea?” I ask.
“I don’t know. It just came to me,” they say.
In truth, they had first identified a problem, then wondered if it could be solved, then started hearing the whispers of their inner artist who had an idea that just might work. Our inner artists work with the tools they are given: our talents, skills, experience, frustrations, fears, and mostly our imaginations. And from that, they create art.
We do it every day, all day. Maybe you’re sick of eating the same old meals, so you experiment and toss some new ingredients into a pot. Or you notice something broken in your house and, rather than pitching it, you devise a clever way to fix it. Or you tire of explaining a lesson in the same old way, so you come up with a new way to say it. In all those cases, your inner artist was at work. How do you know? Because you feel damn good when you’re done! That’s your inner artist offering you a high five.
I have a friend who is constantly rearranging the furniture in her house and painting and repainting the same walls. Why does she do it? Why does she keep moving furniture around when it’s fine where it is? Because it makes her happy. Because it’s something she and her inner artist can do together. What if she were to take her “art” to her workplace? What if she rearranged the conference room furniture in such a way that everyone felt a lift in energy when they entered the room? How much more productive would that day’s meeting be?
Quit denying your inner artist. Quit shunning her to the corner to sit with her head hung down like a child in time out. Trust your creativity, however it manifests.
There is no right or wrong way to be creative.
There is no right or wrong place to be creative.
There is no right or wrong time to be creative.
Do you have an inner artist? Of course, you do! So, turn him/her loose today, and let’s light up this world.
By Teresa R. Funke
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