As a culture we’ve somehow gotten everything upside and backwards concerning being creative.  We focus on the product not the process.  We wonder if what we make will be good enough, will anyone like it, will it sell, am I just wasting my time….so many critical voices.  We get creativity all tangled up with merchandising and sales.  We see our creativity like a slow manufacturing process.  (How hipster.) We mix in a large dash of perfectionism expecting that what we make will be prefect out of the gate. We set our expectations so high that Da vinci couldn’t meet them and Michael Angelo would walk away in disgust and frustration.  Then just for kicks we add in a large portion of judgement because being creative is only for “creative people.”  Those who are outside of the “normal” set, both exceptional and alternative, fabulous but flakes, not like regular ol’ people like us.

At the same time, our soul cries because being creative isn’t about the end product, it’s about the conversation.  Creativity is our soul/mind/emotions/body having a conversation.  It’s a means to speak in multidimensions about everything from birth to death to security checks to ungodly phone systems which make you press so many keys you forget why you called.  That the conversation creates a conversation that can be experienced by others, that continues long after we’ve moved on to another subject, that changes as it echoes through time, that’s just a side benefit.  It’s not the goal.  Being creative isn’t a pursuit, it’s a necessity of life.  It can be expressed in as many ways as there are individuals expressing and many have so many ways they can create that part of the creative process is figuring out which one they are working with.

Creativity is a conversation. Not the hurried talk you have with someone over your shoulder while you’re doing three other things, not the logistics meeting you have with others to make sure things go in the right direction, and certainly not the conversation where you sit quietly and never say anything while the other makes pronouncements.  Although the conversation can use those as its subject or even object.  There are plenty of artists, cartoonists in particular but also comedians who have the creative conversation about the fact that those conversations aren’t creative.  🙂  No, creative conversations are the kind we long for.  Where we are uninterrupted, can follow a train of thought through to it’s conclusion, where we are heard and seen and known, where we can be fully and completely ourselves.  The creative conversation requires us to commit.  It demands our undivided attention, our care, and our absolute honesty. If nowhere else, in creative conversations we can express what we truly feel, voice who we truly are, and define our reality.  We don’t need any special artistic skills although if we spend enough time in this conversation we’ll acquire them, invent others, and find our own rhythm.

So when are you going to let yourself take a deep breath and start having your own creative conversation?