When I was a child, I loved to make greeting cards and random bits of art. But, art was a hobby, not a job. Never did I think I’d grow up to be an artist. It came as a surprise when I picked up a paintbrush at the age of 29 and painted this:
As a species we love to bundle things into a category, but I believe everyone’s an artist of some kind. If you create something new, it’s art, whether it’s a new musical composition or a cure for cancer, I class it as art. During my time as an I.T. support engineer, art was appearing all over the place, although I didn’t realise it back then. Even though I was designing book covers and websites (hell, I even made my own wedding invitation) it didn’t occur to me that something I had classed as frivolous could become a way of life.
Here’s a commission I undertook for a client from Saint Lucia:
So, the lesson is this: there’s always some level of creativity bubbling under the surface. Find it, become excited and allow it to rush up and out in the world. Maybe that’s the key to life, to become passionate about something and let it rip! But often, fear, doubt and guilt creep up like spiders: What will the world think? What if I fail? How do I start? – Once we learn to overcome those voices, it’s like climbing to the top of a mountain and peering out at an uncharted world. I thank my wife for opening the door for me. She’s an artist, and when I saw what she was creating, it inspired me to put colour on a canvas.
Cultivating creativity was normal back in the day (I’m speaking about ancient times). Every ancient culture in the world was flourishing with rich art expression. Our museums are brimming with their legacy. It saddens me to hear that certain organisations are destroying artefacts in the name of religion. It doesn’t sound right at all. Art has always existed as a silent language, often speaking clearer than words. No one has the right to silence creativity.
I invite you to find your spark today: pick up a pen, hire a camera, write a screenplay, draw a picture, paint, sing, dance…create, not for fame or fortune, but for the sheer pleasure of making something new.
What secret talent lies under your fears?