"To live a creative life, we must loose our fear of being wrong"
Sometimes I struggle with being an artist. It is challenging to put your heart out there, to spend all that time and energy and emotion into something, and not know if it will be accepted, rejected or worse, ridiculed.
Partly because of these fears, I have lived most of my life in a neat, organized, analytical groove. Neat and tidy, color coordinated, a place for everything, is part of who I am. I enjoy this part of me, truly I do. I know where that file is because I saved it in three places, including a hard copy in the red folder. The purple notebook contains my study of this or that. The blue box contains art supplies. I could go on and on, for this is a happy place for my brain to live. But this is only part of who I am.
As much as the administrative side of me loves color coordinated office supplies, the artist side of me loves color period. This artistic, wild, free, creative part of me has not been completely free to roam and explore and create as it should be. It is not that this part of me is less than, or an elective; on the contrary, without this side of me, I would be less alive.
The problem is that the production value I place on either side of me limits how much art I create. It's not neat, it's not tidy, it's not cut and dry, and it may never be perfect. There is a lot of emotional investment involved. There may never be an outside value placed on it. It may never be appreciated, useful, or needed. It may never make me money, bring me prestige, or get me a promotion.
But, when I stifle this side of myself, I am not keeping the peace, like I think I may be. What I am doing is actually crippling the entirety of who I am. When I only write report documents, and stop writing creative documents, when I choose to only collate spreadsheets and not spread paint or glue on a canvas, when I put down my camera out of fear I haven't picked up my computer enough, I am shutting down the artistic side that fuels the fire of creativity.
See, there's a difference between "here's a part of my brain, I got this done" and "here's a part of my heart, how do you feel about it?. And that second one is a lot scarier to put out there than the first. Showing someone my brain makes me feel intelligent, in control, and societially relative. Showing someone my heart makes me feel vunerable, out of control, and messy. It's a fabulous place, my heart, but it's complex, deep, dark, and mysterious. And since people tend to judge what they don't understand, and shy away from messy, emotional whatnots, it appears easier to fit in with administrative skills than with artistic ability.
But I wasn't made to fit in, but to stand out. I was made with a fiery passion to create, to fill this world with emotion and color and rarity. It takes a special brand of boldness, from deep within, to choose to share the vulnerable, the messy, the mystery. I cannot deny the creative parts of myself, for they lay the foundation for the more orderly ones. Everything has a place so I know where my art supplies are. My file folders may be in rainbow color order (ROY G. BIV), but orange doesn't have to follow red on canvas if I don't want it to. That report document was created from nothing because I have the ability to create, and practice it regularly. The value I put on expressing myself emotionally needs to be just as important as the skill-sets I used to bring in a paycheck. Having an outlet to express and explore and create makes me a more well-rounded person, able to meet more life challenges and opportunities.
So I've been going on a journey this past year, owning my own inspirational iPhone photography business. And as much as I inspire and encourage others to be who they are created to be, I have to first inspire myself. Sometimes it's okay to get out of our heads and into our hearts. It's okay to mix color and sound and light and everything else. It's okay to balance both administration and artistry. Don't be afraid to let your light shine, in all sides of who you are. Because whether it has value to all of society, or just you, it matters, it has meaning, and it is important. Because you are.
Photo taken with iPhone 4, June 2013, Belize.
Copyrighted Reflections of Revelation.