While surfing about this morning, I happened upon a great list of quotes on art, artists, and creativity. I selected some of my faves for you here. Many creative people struggle with their fit in society, whether socially, career-wise, or in terms of their values versus what they see as the predominant cultural values. Maybe these quotes can offer a little reassurance and encouragement.
"Becoming an artist is about developing a dialogue between what you are communicating and what you’re absorbing from your surroundings." – John Ferrie
I have also thought of creativity as my own conversation with life. It's how I talk to myself about what I think life is about, what questions I have, what the view looks like from here, what I believe. The actual process of that creation opens my eyes and ears more, as in a conversation.
You get something out of your head that you are sure you believe in, or sure you feel. As you put it on the page, very often something shifts. You become less certain of the certainties and more clear-headed where you had doubts before. You reply to that, creatively, after it's steeped a bit inside you and alchemy has happened. Then you put that out on the page, canvas, or some other medium. Eventually, the process repeats itself. Every time you go through the cycle it gets deeper and more interesting.
"Poets and painters are outside the class system, or rather they constitute a special class of their own, like the circus people and the Gipsies." – Gerald Brenan
Ah! Someone has finally explained a mystery to me! A few years ago, my husband Scott and I were in a grocery store picking up something for an office party. It was about 7:30 a.m. and we were dressed for work (hospital psychologists). A man in the checkout line turned around and said, "I'm sorry, but I just have to ask. Are you members of a theatre troupe or something?"
It still makes me laugh. To this day, I have no idea what prompted his question, but given the artistic inclinations of my husband Scotty (aka "Costume Boy") and myself, I have to admit I'd rather be among the Gypsies and circus folk than sitting among 'respectable' corporate moguls any day of the week.
"The sociability of artists is a paradoxical and precarious thing, and ceases the instant they begin their actual artistic work." – R. G. Collingwood
Bless you, R.G. I always thought I was just fickle. I know many of you periodically socially inhibited creative folks can relate. I have no less than ten people waiting for me to get back to them to set up time a lunch date. These are people I love, but I cannot bring myself to pull the trigger and set up actual commitments to see them.
It so happens I'm in a creative dive right now, and it occurs to me now I've never once considered telling people I can't be social because I'm in the middle of creatively diving. I know when I come up for air that I'll be a lunch-scheduling wild woman, but now just doesn't feel like the time. There's too much internal conversation going on. It's time I just told it like it is, because extroversion at all costs — well, it costs.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences as you explore your own creative rhythms.
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