Reply To: The Creative Spark
Thank you for a thoughtful reply! I appreciate your sense of self-awareness, and especially the recognition the process is not always the same. For me, the key sentence in your post is
Over the years I have decided that as long as I like what I have created, I am not troubled much by its popularity.”
That brings to mind for me this observation from Joseph Campbell:
An artist is not in the field to achieve, to realize, but to become fulfilled. It’s a life-fulfilling, totally different structure … And it doesn’t matter whether you’re first-, second-, third-rate in the public eye. Each artist, as I know them, is in fulfillment in his or her own way. It’s not a competitive field.” (The Hero’s Journey 111)
I’m also curious about the creative spark – the source of inspiration. I hope you don’t mind if I ask, apart from, say, a specific commission, do you notice any common thread in the birth of your creations? Do ideas appear fully formed and you work toward re-creating an original vision? Or is creation more a process, something that flows through you, even surprises you, taking on a life of its own? What would you say is the balance between inspiration, intention, spontaneity, discipline, and play?
I know it’s not easy putting that into words, but I believe there is value in considering and understanding the creative process. Campbell spoke of artists as the seers and shamans of our modern era. Seer strikes me as an apt term: seems to me art could be described as a way of seeing, or perceiving. It might well be intuitive for most artists, whatever their medium – but I also see value, for those who are not artists or don’t think of themselves as creative, in cultivating that mode of perception.
One more question – when did you know you were an artist? Did you make a conscious decision to pursue art? Or did you over time realize that you have always been an artist.
Don’t feel obligated (these are conversations, not interrogations), but have you the time and the inclination, feel free to shed whatever light you can on your internal process.