Dying to Create



// Some thoughts on Creativity

Crow by Susitna MaraSul

Crow by Susitna MaraSul


"Why can't you just....."
"You're too........"
"You don't have enough......"
"You'll never......"

Creation is the process from which something is born. In order for Birth to happen, things have to die. That's the way of things. In the case of creating Art {or anything, really}, the first thing that has to die is that fearful voice we all have running through our minds. It's the one that looks at a blank canvas and freezes. The one that sees a stroke of a brush and berates. The one that sees a finished piece and dismisses. When it comes to art, this voice often becomes incredibly insistent, for it sees a series of  little deaths on the horizon.

I don't want to live under the dictates of fear. Do you? It's cozy in there, but eventually it gets so constricting that the life spark within us suffocates. 

Notice the thoughts up above. Do they look familiar? Can you easily fill in the blanks with your own particular cruelties? Are the incessant repetitions of your inner critic ruling your life?

Take heart! For these words only hold power over us if we agree to them. But disagreeing is very hard. The most common outcry against disagreeing with these thoughts is that it is selfish or arrogant to agree that you have worth. But it's only selfish if you refuse to extend the same kindness to others, and it's only arrogant if you don't actually believe that you can disagree and get lost in the insidious masquerade of pretending like you disagree and therefore inevitably insist that others disagree on your behalf.

So, what now? Do you like to write? Do it. Just free-flow. Do you like to paint? Do it. Buy some cheap kids paints and feel how fun it is the push the paint onto the paper. Do you like to sing? Do it. Turn the radio off and tra-la-la nonsense until a melody of your own making forms. Do you like to build? Buy some old gadgets and pick them apart and put them back together again, until you understand their inner workings. Let the magic of art-making begin.

You don't have time, you say?
I don't believe you.
Yes you do. You have to reckon with saying "no" to something else in order to say yes to this. It's very likely going mean saying no to something or someone that "needs" you. They will be OK, I promise.
You don't have energy, you say?
I hear you. Maybe you need to say no to something else in order to say yes to resting until you can function again, be unburdened enough to create. Maybe this will take a long time. Begin now.

It's hard, yes. As I believe in transparency, I will tell you that I am currently working on not making art-making the last thing on my to-do list...the thing I "get to" if I have time. Usually I only manage to squeeze in twenty minutes of actual art-making during the 3-5 hours I spend in my office/studio before I go rushing off to the next obligation. I currently have 3 different pieces I am working on, which means I'm working on focus and finishing what I started, which means I am currently combating that mean refrain "Look at you. You can't finish anything. You can't focus, your life has been and always will be a series of half-starts and ......" and down into the shame spiral we go. Ridiculous, isn't it? The places that the spiral takes us?

Another confession, in hopes that you can relate: I've re-written this blog... three times now?  It was scheduled to be posted over two weeks ago. Every time I sat down to write it....nothing really happened. Why? I was nervous. As soon as I thought about sharing my thoughts publicly, everything shut down. I was too busy and scattered to gather my thoughts from the well of what I know to be true.
I went to a concert last night, and the music thrummed through my cells, bringing life. This morning I let go of a task to be done to sleep in, and read my devotional books of choice. I journaled for no reason other than I finally was centered enough that I had something to say. Things started flowing again. Now here we are, reading something that I feel resonates with what I intended to communicate. When I hit "publish" I will be saying no to the thought that this is embarrassing and pretentious and that my voice does not matter. I choose to disagree, and say yes to the inspired hope that maybe it will be useful for someone out there, and the belief that we need to share our perspectives and stories with each other.

The pain and beauty of creation lies in the necessity of letting things go in order to make way for Coming into Being. 
What will you let go of in order to Create, and let art-making slay that mean voice in your head? What will you say no to in order to say yes to not living in fear?

Much Love,
Susitna @ VEOstudio

P.S. The task that I said no to is putting together my Print Store for the website....coming soon! Click on the crow to see what will be featured in the store first! Also you can stay tuned with what's happening on Instagram @veoartworks .