Why You Need Art In Your Life
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
I came across this quote and it truly resonated with me. I realised my art, my creative process is my sleep. It is when I am able to dream, and anything is possible. There is nothing else in that moment but a beautiful and peaceful place. A place of no right or wrong. A place where imagination can run free and untamed. I can imagine whatever I want without fear.
It is, however, when that creative process is finished (I’m awake), that doubt and fear arrive. What if I am not good enough? What if no one likes what I have created (my dream)? If no one likes my dream, then my dream mustn’t be valued. If my dream isn’t valued, then maybe I’m not valued. So, in those ’waking’ moments we torture ourselves with self doubt. Wishing, perhaps, we could create like another artist or have greater skill. We may struggle to find our voice as an artist, because that is what we are meant to do. And so on goes that critic in our minds.
In the end, however, despite our inner critic, there is a reason why we create. It is something deep inside us that calls out, reaches out to us. It is our souls looking for a way to express itself. Our souls searching and looking for beauty.
As Jordan Peterson said in one of his videos, Why You Need Art (link to video included below)…
“[Artists] have a personality trait, an openess that makes them do that, they can’t even help it…”
“The worst thing for creative people is to not be creative because they just die…”
“Open people have to be creative…they have to be…[otherwise] they don’t have any vitality…”
From being part of many wonderful art groups, and getting to know many wonderful artists on their art journey, I have realised that they are open people, and that is what helps us to make connections. When we establish connection to others we can then begin to feel valued.
For so long I pushed aside being open. Not wanting to share the real person behind the creations. I was worried about how I would be seen. I was worried about sharing my thoughts on the creative process, or my creative journey, which is really a spiritual journey. I was worried about the people who know me personally, the people who I meet face to face, have conversations with. They might think I was different (ok, crazy, haha)!
One of my beautiful and close friends told me awhile ago, ‘Zera, you are an open book. You wear your heart on your sleeve…’ I was actually embarrassed, and felt ashamed to be like this. I would try harder to hide that heart. In the end you can only hide for so long. The open person will want to escape. The open person will want to share, because in turn they will also want to receive.
So to bring this all back to the creative journey, I have realised by being open that my art has evolved. By being open I am able to dive deeper and look for that treasure within. I am beginning to allow my authentic self to be seen.
By having the desire to create you are searching for something more. Art really is about self expression. So, if it is about self expression, then it really shouldn’t matter, ”Are we good enough?” You are good enough. You are good enough, and more, because you are YOU. You have chosen a creative path because that is who you are. That is what your soul craves, or as Jordan Peterson says, we would die.
So my art friends, keep creating, keep sharing. Try not to worry about the likes you get, or don’t get. There is a far more important process taking place. The process may just be that you want to create something because it feels good or looks pretty, or because you are searching for a deeper understanding of yourself or life. We are all at different stages of this process. Embrace the one you are at, and let’s see what dreams emerge when we create, or I should say ‘sleep’.
Link to Jordan Peterson on Youtube: