Creativity is my life.
It´s my work, my Nº1 compulsion (I have others), and my way of breathing.
Whatever I do, may that be on a stage, on a teaching venue, on blank page or at the kitchen, cooking a meal, I am compulsively creative. I go as far as decorating my bathtub for a simple bath, for Christ´s sake! And I´m not alone. There are many of us out there on the loose.
No wonder others take me as an eccentric which, for me, the object of such observation, makes no sense. I see humor, beauty, wisdom, inspiration and awe in everything, from the (labeled as) extraordinary to the (labeled as) ordinary.
While reading the book “We´re all artists” by Will Gompertz, I feel compelled to make my own list of what makes a CREATIVE person. Here´s the start of it:
- Creative people, not copy machines, have a certain dose of detachment from the external world. They feed off it, circulate – q.b. – in it, learn from it and cherish the occasional interactions with it but, in the end of the day, they have an intimate, magical bubble where nothing and no one, except them, can enter.
- Creative people work for the pleasure of working, not for the audience´s expectations. Everybody loves to receive applause for what they do but it´s not that applause that defines the creative process or its result. Audiences can be unfair, volatile, generous or vile for no apparent reason.Although creative people need to create a positive link with other people – critics, students, audiences, readers -, they don´t depend on them in order to create. Key concept: the intentional repetition of the word “create”.
- Creative people leave their egos at the toilet. They´re ready to give it a go, even if they don´t feel particularly inspired; they try, miss a step, screw up and try again with no problem or vanity crisis. They know a so called mistake can lead to great stuff and they´re ready to have fun, correct, redo, destroy and start from scratch in order to watch a piece of art grow. Plus: an egoless creator can easily make a fool out of her/himself and that´s a shortcut to originality. Even genius. If the ego is in the room, creativity cannot flow – it gets stuck between your pride and your status anxiety.
- Creative people don´t focus on the results – they focus on the creative process. It´s the journey, not the destination, that makes the Artist.
- Creative people don´t spend their time criticizing other people´s work. They´re busy creating their work. No time, focus or energy, to do both.
- Creative people don´t take themselves seriously but the same thing cannot be said about their craft. They DO take their craft/art seriously and thrive for excellency but not themselves. Getting a grip is their daily bread.
- Creative people are curious, open and permanently in tune with what´s happening inside and around them. They search for the things they wish to emulate in their world: beauty, joy, truth, humanity in all its colours, magic. You name it – you search for it.
- Creative people work with and for love. It´s not a matter of showing off as much as it´s a matter of sharing their gifts with the world.
- Creative people don´t waste time trying to cathegorize their work or labeling themselves – they rather create without boundaries and keep growing towards freedom.
- Creative people have preserved their inner child alive hence the common “crazy” label stuck to their foreheads.
- Creative people understand there´s as much power in NOT KNOWING as there is in KNOWING. They´re not afraid to explore unknown territory. In fact, they jump into it not sure where they´ll land.
- Creative people don´t need to act like divas or arrogant folks
(arseholes). They embrace their humanity, even the common, flawed, boring sides, allowing their work to speak for them.
- Creative people know they may be the center of their world but NOT the center of the World.Humbleness is the first sign of true genius. Key concept: intentional repetition of the word true/truly.
- Creative people cherish, and protect, their “me time” which is not the same as “alone time”. Creative people, the crazy ones like you and me, are never alone. Some of the happiest, most rewarding moments of my life were spent in my own company – dancing, plotting, writing, choreographing or being. Just being. We need what I call digestion time so we can turn whatever inspiration calls us for into materialized pieces of art. Without that time with ourselves – no life digestion time -, we´re swamped by the same material that could give birth to interesting creations.
- Creative people have sense of humor, a product of the points Nº6,10 and 12. They laugh, make jokes, see the comedy in tragedy and vice-versa. They laugh at/because/despite life´s hardships and blows. They laugh through the rain and through the sun – then again, like crazy (?)! people. They do it because they know life, and everything in it, is precious. They know.
- Creative people reserve time to enJOY life outside their work, knowing that life is what feeds their art and gives it meaning.
This is just the beginning of my list. What´s yours?