This has been a year of so many changes. I have, like many of you, watched as the world has swirled in wild, unpredictable ways. I have taken all of the global happenings as a personal growth and learning experience, looking at what I have to do with the current landscape at each turn and what I can do to alter things, in the case of happenings that I would prefer not to see repeated, moving forward.
In the process I have, as I worked with my Artist and Creative clients, bumped up against their personal growing and learning experiences including the questioning they have been going through about the pursuit of their Art, their Creativity and the relevance of their Art and Creations in the current world.
To take an Art/Artist spin on the multiple dialogues about what matters: I am clearer than ever about how much Art and Creativity matters and how much Artists and Creatives matter. I see a world that could continue to strip Art and creativity away … the very thing that humans have the capacity for that could make THE difference.
Call me crazy but, I think that the next level of evolutionary changes on our planet will require massive amounts of creativity and people who are both adept at and willing to do creative work. You, dear Artist and Creative reader, are one of the people who can do that kind of work. It is part of who you are, it is something to really celebrate about yourself.
I, unfortunately, watch so many Artists, on the threshold of their most important works, question if it is time to give up because of the circumstances in the world in general and the Art world specifically. I find myself screaming in my head, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” It is NOT time to give up … it is not even time to slow down. It is, in my humble opinion, time to reflect, keep our foot on the petal, double down and claim our place in creating the future.
One of the lessons I have gotten for myself this year is that I can no longer put my head in the sand, to any degree. I need to be awake and aware and become an integral part of creating what I want for my life and, dare I say, the world. I happen to think this is not only an individual thing but a “we” thing.
We (Artists/Creatives) have an opportunity to join hands and be a force of unison in forwarding our own Artistic endeavors, protecting the Arts, and using our collective superpowers of creativity to expand and evolve the future of the planet and the inhabitants of it. Big view? Yep!
Now, perhaps, you have no interest in that future-of-the-world view or no interest in any responsibility beyond your own personal responsibility for your own self-expression, creativity and/or Art … that is fine too … nothing wrong there. It all begins with us taking personal responsibility for ourselves as Artists/Creatives and knowing that we and our work matters anyway.
Personal responsibility as an Artist or Creative means, to me, that we keep creating and know that we are the one responsible for fulfilling ourselves through our creations … we focus, and we take our Art to the next level day by day, week by week, month by month, no matter what. We move forward. We impact what we can by bringing our creations into existence … unapologetic, boldly … with commitment.
Each of us, if we simply take personal responsibility, contributes greatly to the world. A world where Artists and Creatives thrive through personal responsibility is a new world. Why #1: Because we are honoring ourselves! Why #2: Because we (Artists/Creatives) Matter. Why #3: Because what we do (making Art, being Creative) matters.
On the other hand, perhaps you DO have an interest in going beyond personal responsibility and contribution to create work that is seen and experienced in a way that more blatantly impacts the world. If so, then now is the time to unleash your creativity to serve a broader purpose!
Change is in our grasp. We are creators. We are change agents. In the ages-old debate of does-art-create-life-or-does-life-create-art I assert that Artists have always blazed the trails and created the future. Artists and Creators have moved the world forward throughout the history of humanity.
Right now we live in a time where we can have a powerful and sustainable impact. Massive, instant communication and technology has provided us with the ability for Global influences like never before. We can use that for good. By playing individually or collectively, across the entire planet, we can create the next level of human progress. I assert (& at least a few people agree with me) that Creativity is a force that is needed in realms such as: social change, environmental changes, business change, political change and the leadership needed for those changes.
Business journals are brimming with articles that point to Creativity as one of the elements that will make-or-break organizations now and in the near future. Political climates are no longer able to sustain the same ol’ hum drum, or even worse, fear-based tactics. Leadership, whether in companies, governments or spiritual/religious circles needs fresh, new creativity to evolve our families, organizations, communities, cultures, countries and the world.
Artists and Creatives, just by our basic nature, are not usually followers or late adapters … we push the envelope of the current norms. We see what can’t be seen, we create what is not already there, we decontextualize and reinvent what has been stuck, we envision what could be, we inspire what is next … we are the future waiting to happen. The world may call us unrealistic or crazy or weird, but our work has the capacity to pull life forward.
Art has not only reported on, represented and interpreted what has and is occurring in the world but has also stimulated, in multiple ways, what happens next. My musings continue as I approach the end of 2018 and begin to think about 2019. Are we, as Artists and Creatives, going to take personal responsibility? Are we going to take on a larger responsibility? Are we going to expand or contract?
Personally, there is a fire in my belly to take actions that will make a difference. It requires that I somehow give up any resignation about Art, Creativity, Artists and Creatives mattering. That includes myself as an Artist and Creative and my Art and Creations. It also includes every other Artist and Creative and their work (YES, that means YOU and YOUR work!).
Whether there is current agreement among others or not, I can create a commitment and take actions. I can be an instrument of evolution just because, inside my commitment, I will have the juice it takes to move myself, and anything else I want to move, forward.
How about you? Are you willing to let go of the questioning about: if YOU, as an Artist or a Creative matter? Or let go of the questioning about if YOUR work matters? Are you willing to consider that YOU and YOUR work DOES matter? Are you willing to keep going and fight the good fight and do your part (including any medium and work whether it is stickily for yourself or for radical political, environmental or social change) to create a new future in 2019, regardless of what it looks like now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to share about what matters to YOU and perhaps how you see that YOU and Your Creativity and/or Your Art/Creations matter as my intention is to create an inquiry and dialogue. I am, as always, grateful to you for being out there creating and I welcome connecting with you.