The Spirit of Creativity

“the way to create art is to burn and destroy

ordinary concepts and to substitute them

with new truths that run down from the top of the head

and out from the heart.”

-Charles Bukowski

Monsters. Demons. Ghosts. Thoughts. Feelings. Ideas. A touch. A smile. A memory.

How are these things similar and how are they different?

Whether we immediately recognize it or not, these are all forms of energy that we interact with on a daily basis. These mystical, mysterious, and often times intangible energies dance with our creativity.

Sometimes, as artists, we are inspired by our emotions. Other times the inspiration comes from physical senses or objects. Sometimes inspiration is divine, coming from our dreams or, really, god-knows-where. Creativity may come from memories we want to relive or from trying to make sense of something that doesn’t work right in our minds.

Creative inspiration is vast, but in it’s own right, it is unique and spiritual. It’s fascinating to me how varying forms of artistic expression can bring otherwise imperceptible forms  of potential energy to life. We are physical conduits for spiritual energies. As artists, we just serve as the translators.

For this reason, the more I’ve developed and come to know my creativity, the more I’ve developed and come to know my spirituality. There are days where I’ve felt so compelled to create something, it’s like I have no other choice. Making art was the only way to satisfy my spirit.

I’m not talking about religion or politics here, so I hope you’re still with me. I’m talking about energy and spirit and all that mysterious stuff that comes along with being human. Like, “what are dreams?” and “why does heartbreak feel like I actually have a gaping hole in my chest?” These questions fascinate me and run through my head every time I go to make a piece of art. How can I tap into this energetic realm and how can I bring information back? What is under the surface? How do I connect? How do I give this energy life?

During my yoga teacher training, we discussed the chakra system. The chakra system is a complex system of energetic nodes and channels within the physical body. The nodes are located along the spine, running from the base of the tailbone all the way up to the crown of the skull. Energy travels up and down this system from the physical world into the spiritual world. A lightning rod, if you will. This is much like your central nervous system sends information to and from your brain and body. Versions of the chakra system have been studied for centuries, longer actually than we’ve known the purpose of the central nervous system. Many believe that these systems work together and are deeply connected.

What I’m getting at is that I believe human beings are conduits that connect ideas with earth. To break that down further, it could be said that we capture energy from the space around us (mystery, head), interpret it though our database of experience (emotion, heart) and place it on earth (physical, feet). And vice versa, we process physical information back out into ideas and emotions. The communication back and forth between the concrete and the abstract… This is what it is to create.

Many people create solely for their own peace of mind. Some create because they just love to create. Some create to deal with their emotions and some create to deal with other people. But no matter why we choose to create, the process is drawing a connection between physical and etherial.  Worldly and Otherworldly.

And that’s why I believe expressing our interpretation of the world and all of the experiences within it is just about the most human thing we can do.


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