We’re all born into this world as artists.
This is one of the most beautiful parts of being human. There is an artist in all of us. Anything that requires craft has art at it’s core. Here’s the formal definition:
a person who creates art (such as painting, sculpture, music, or writing) using conscious skill and creative imagination
They key part of this definition is at the end – using conscious skill and creative imagination.
We have an innate ability to create things using our imagination, and most of us start exercising that from an early age. It starts with natural curiosity and observation, which turns into creation.
- We watch others build, and then we use blocks to create our own building.
- We watch others paint, and then we use paint to create our own artwork.
- We watch others play music, and then we pick up an instrument to create our own piece.
Here is a recent piece of art my 6 year-old son (Everest) created:
It’s a perfect representation of the art we can create.
However, the sad reality is that most of us lose this artistry. We lose the drive to exercise our creative imagination. Instead, we start following patterns and prescriptions that others create.
- We open a box of legos that has a specific way to put blocks together.
- We open a coloring book that has specific lines to draw within.
- We open a music sheet that has specific notes to play.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is value in learning from others. It’s a great way to practice and acquire general skills. I’m not saying we should learn everything on our own. That would be foolish to some degree!
What I am saying is that we have to be careful of how much we follow these prescriptions, especially if we value being an artist. Because at some point, it’s no longer your art. It’s simply replicating what someone else created.
Fast forward into adulthood and here’s what you get:
- We join a university that offers specific curriculum and education.
- We take a job that has a defined role with specific responsibilities.
- We create a business with specific systems and processes.
And then the artist is completely lost.
No more use of conscious skill and creative imagination. No more creation of something that truly represents you, the artist. Nope, that is gone for the most part. A select few of us are lucky enough to still exercise our true artist within our careers… but it is indeed a select few.
Most of us end up doing things that others have told us to do. Or, we replicate something someone has taught us because we think it will bring us joy, happiness or success. This is why we hire mentors and coaches to guide us through things.
Again, there is value in learning from others, especially if we’re seeking something. I just want us to be mindful and aware of how this impacts the artist in us.
Are we observing and then creating our own art?
Or, are we opening a prescription and then following specific instructions?
There is a key difference.
And if you value being an artist you might consider questioning this…
Pause before you take action and execute something. Give conscious thought to whether it involves art, and if so, how you might exercise some creative imagination. Ask yourself, “What do I want to create here?”
Why? Because a world without art is a pretty shitty place 💩
Art makes life interesting. It inspires us to continue creating. It brings out who we really are. Creating art is a core part of the human experience. We will do our best work and make our greatest contributions when we exercise the true artist inside of us. I believe that at least.
I also believe there’s a lost artist in many of us, including myself.
Instead of waking up every day and thinking about the art we want to create, we think about the things we need to do. We quiet our souls and let our minds take over. We defer the art for the obligation. We join the herd instead of creating our own path.
And that’s just sad if what we really want to do is… well… create art 🙂
Today I decided to pause and create a bit of art with this post. I will leave you with a simple question to ask –
Is there a lost artist inside of you?
Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.