We scribble in our journals, paint, sketch, write poetry and music, we sculpt and craft and build. This intriguing artistic endeavor to articulate abstract thoughts, ideas and feelings via a creative outlet. So exhilarating, liberating, magical! But, it can become poisoned by the very creator who worries about not sounding intelligent enough, who is anxious to impress or is deeply concerned about trends and negative reactions from a potential audience; resulting in the dilution/transformation of the original thought, idea and intent.
And what about readers and museum goers, who for their part, may feel that certain books must be read and certain works of art lauded in order to legitimize their intellect and taste; fearing that if they have not read Wilde, Austen or Nietzsche or been blown away by DaVinci or stimulated by Hockney they cannot possibly be worthy or have anything to say.
This of course is nonsense.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, BIG MAGIC, supports creative living on a basic principal of doing what you love just because you love it. So if you like to write, then write without holding back, sculpt, compose, let the creative juices flow freely. Don’t be hindered by anything or anyone. Just do what you care about as this will result in a meaningful experience.
Read what you like, interact with art that speaks to you personally, listen to music that gives you what you want and need without feeling ‘coerced’ into, or obligated to create or like something that, in truth, doesn’t resonate with you or produces no connection. Instead, let your your personality, instinct, cultural background, interests, gut reaction, emotions, taste, curiosity and experience be some of your guides.
Considerations such as reviews, bestseller lists, famous venues, patrons, perceived monetary and intellectual value, prestige and so on, while legitimate, should not be the driving force behind your choice of reading material or art exhibit, conference or museum visit. Nor should people’s opinions, trends of the moment, insecurity, shyness, inexperience stop you from creating (either for yourself or for the public arena).
I believe that just as the importance and investment you put into a friendship, marriage, job reflects your commitment and care, so too should meaningful experience be derived from what you care about artistically both as creator and/or consumer.