When I was in college for illustration, I was taught that your art must have a message. It must “say” something. If you are an illustrator, this is like the whole point of your job so it is pretty good advice. The problem with this, though, is that I don’t have anything to say. It took me a long time to “get over” this about myself and realize that I just like to make stuff. I am not especially deep or talkative with my art. Maybe it is because I talk a lot in general (as evidenced both in conversation and via this blog) and there is nothing left for my art.
Usually my thought process before creating goes something like this…”Oooooo! Look! A bird! Yay! I’ll paint one!” I don’t start until I have a clear mental image of the end result (which is almost immediately when I see something I like). That is seriously about it. The truth is that I just enjoy looking at visual things, (especially color), and they make me want to create more visual things. Images go through my mind constantly and sometimes they are so clear that I can’t remember if I saw it, or I made it up. I will admit that this isn’t always a good thing and neither is the fact that sometimes in the middle of a conversation I will disappear into my head to see something I want to make, but it is just the way I am. I have been like this since I was a baby.
Though I don’t have anything particularly deep to say with my art, I do have an opinion about the idea of creating in general. I always find it interesting the way that creation seems to be an inherent quality in human nature. There is a reason kids like side walk chalk and Legos. I am a big believer that everyone is creative in one way or another. I don’t mean artistic creative either. For example, if you were my husband, you would have a jeep in the garage right at this very moment (that just sits there and does nothing because it is very old and does not work AT ALL), but since this is your creative outlet, you tell yourself that you can bring her back to life again. In truth, I really do have every confidence (and lots and lots of hope) that said jeep will (eventually) make a comeback because when it comes to stuff like this, my husband really is creative and naturally gifted. I swear the man and take apart and put anything back together (you’re welcome, Josh).
Creativity is seriously everywhere though. There is a reason we have actors, and musicians, and writers, and dancers, and scientists, and mathematicians, and doctors, and historians, and attorneys, and mechanics (I could go on and on). There is built-in creativity in all of this work. So what is my theory? I think it is God’s thumbprint in us. He is the ultimate creator, and being his creations, we reflect Him. I mean, just look at procreation. If the ability to make entirely new people isn’t a reflection of God’s creativity, then I don’t know what is. It even has the word creation in it!
For this I am grateful. I have come to believe that along with relationships, our drive and ability to create is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. So next time you are feeling creative because you saw something cool on Pinterest, take a moment to revel in the absolute pleasure of creation simply for creation’s sake. 🙂