I am a work in progress — are you? Most of us are.
When a creative path is chosen, or chooses us, we begin with the desire to take the images we have in our head and put them on canvas, paper, fabric or whatever the medium might be.
Creative expression can be a profound tug for many of us, a near-compulsive urge to give birth to new ideas.
The creative journey is seldom a straight, defined line of successes — it can be a twisted trajectory, sometimes encountering cul-de-sacs or dead ends.
Pulling the vision out in the manner that it appears in our mind can be somewhat harder than it looks. In fact, it can be downright sobering! It can cause budding artists to put the watercolours, guitars and paintbrushes away forever.
It might take a few starts and stops before our own personal way of expressing ourselves is discovered and released.
It doesn’t have to be traditional forms of art — it might be tattooing, origami or an accordion musician. No matter what form your creative endeavours show up in, there are times — even for those who have been on the creative path for years — when your learning or progress accelerates or shifts.
This is a metamorphosis.
One way to tell if you’ve found your own personal manner of expression is to notice whether time stands still while you are creating. When this occurs, we are in the flow and are guided by our inner vision to places that might not be accessible any other way, certainly not through our intellect. I call this the spirit of art. It is that joyful place where a day can pass and we are lost in the peacefulness of creating. In this place worry, fears, competitiveness and criticism can cease to exist — at least for a while. Here, we might release pieces of our inner selves up for others to see. Our art can be self-revealing in this way — it can expose a sense of darkness, lack, fear, joy, optimism or humour.
Through this expression, art can create a metamorphosis in our lives.
Many of us are vitalized and energized by being creative. The sense of joy and connection with our inner lives is measurable. As humans, this may be our main purpose — to express and create, whether it’s by dance, painting, carving, knitting, or even the ultimate creative act, parenting.
In fact, when we are not being creative, we can lose energy and vitality.
If you hit a plateau in your work, consider finding a muse or a mentor to assist you in moving forward. It might be a real person, someone in your studio, in your neighbourhood, or an online source.
Being inspired by another’s thoughts, work or sensibilities can open us up to new expressions.
Metamorphosis is also a theme of the Arts Council’s upcoming June art show.
Join us June 2 at 7 p.m. at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery for the opening night of Metamorphosis and Notion of Motion. Musician Stephanie Humphreys will provide the musical entertainment for the evening.