“Creativity takes courage,” said Henri Matisse. What is creativity? An internet search defines the word in many different ways and gives access to much scientific research on the topic. We as artists think of creativity as our domain though if we look at the research it is clear that without the ability to see things differently, find new ways of doing things and make discoveries across the spectrum of thought that humanity would not be where it is today. Ken Hope of The MacArthur Foundation describes it this way, “Creativity is a universal human attribute, present to some extent in everyone and it may be manifest in almost every activity.”
I believe that creativity is the way that humanity expands itself and the world we live in. It is the engine that brings new things and ideas to life. Scientist Charles Limb says that when you’re doing something creative you engage all aspects of your brain. In other words, the brain changes and expands. We as artists are the teachers; teaching those who listen how to find and use the creativity within each of us.
All this time you thought you were just having fun! Turns out we are the engines that run the world! We artists are absolutely vital and yes, it is great fun! Art is just one outlet for creativity though we as artists carry the torch that others look for when searching for their own creativity.
We come together with the Pastel Society of North Carolina as artists. I want you to see that creating a painting and creating a life are the same things; using the same skills. Aren’t we lucky that we already know how to open our brains to new ideas?
I don’t remember when I realized that a creative life helped me handle everyday tasks. It was probably a gradual process of relying on the right brain – my creative side – to solve issues that were bothering me. When that worked one time I did it again and again and again. Then one day I realized that my world was a little different from the world of others I knew. My world was expansive. I said ‘Yes” to the opportunities that came my way. I looked upon each new challenge as an adventure. My world was interesting, even though I still had to deal with all of life’s issues.
It is the thinking and living part of creativity that expands us into our greatest potential. Making art is a way into this realization. ~ Janet Burgess