Essays on Creative Process.
Reflections on art, culture and meaning.
The Nature of Creative Process
The creative process is a kind of mechanism that underlies no less than all of creation, and its expressions may be for good or ill. This short essay places a focus on its positive connection to the arts, and to spirituality.
Creativity is often misunderstood to be an act of the ego or intellect. In truth, the creative process is fundamentally a spiritual one. When the imagination is in flight, we are moved to give form to inner life. Creating charges us with energy. While grounded in our bodies, the creative act takes us beyond ourselves. We exit the world of reacting and enter the world of creating, where we lose track of time. Through action, we bring spirit into matter. With renewal and dedication, we love our creations into being. Creativity is vital for well-being, not just for artists but for everyone in their own way. In creating, we re-create ourselves and experience a deep intimate connection to something universal. To engage our creativity is to engage our spirituality.
Julia Cameron, an author who designs wonderful tools for unleashing the creative spirit, makes the observation that embedded in the word “heart” is the word “art.” It suggests that artistic process is a heart-centered one. Also embedded, she notes is the word “ear.” Interestingly, spiritual traditions often teach the art of listening with the heart. In the creative state, the individual essence seems to touch a universal core. This centered place of creating is often characterized by artists as a spiritual experience. But as an artist and art coach, I can attest to the fact the creative process is not always pleasant. Added to the rhythms of the creative process are various measures of fear, resistance and anxiety. We often need to pass through a threshold of discomfort in order to create what is calling to be created.
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Many claim the creative process to be connected with spirituality inherently. Regardless of how one might experience or conceptualization it, the creative path presents undeniable opportunities for growth. We come face to face with the attitudes and behaviors affecting our process and career. We learn to change perceptions, overcome obstacles, stay in touch with our bodies, identify and listen to our intuition, gain more insight, and trust in our creative powers.
When we are creating art authentically, we are in touch with animating power. The act of creating, while fully absorbed in the present moment, brings a living in connection between the inner life and a deeper of universal life. While creating in our present, we are simultaneously creating our future.
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*Essay by Barbara Bowen of GatewaysCoaching.com - the definitive source for artists and creative careers in transition. Contact Barbara to empower your creative process and for help with your career goals. She would love to hear from you.*
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