Creativity and Spirituality

by heatherkp

This post might be a bit controversial for some readers but I hope not. For me the process of creating can be deeply spiritual experience, if I allow it to be.  Going within myself and allowing a creative expression to flow from within me, ideas that my conscious mind may not have thought of.  The process of creating, being an artist or living a creative life also requires a certain discipline that I liken to a spiritual discipline.  You learn to be intuitive about your creative process, you let it flow from you and not try to control it.  This can be such a difficult lesson to learn.
Many artists and appreciators of art have recognized this connection between spirituality and creativity.   Rothko’s chapel is one such example where the artist was commissioned to create a spiritual and meditative space through the installation of his art.  I find his paintings to be deeply meditative as well as the work of Yves Klein’s Blue series.   Each of us is capable of having a strong spiritual or emotional reaction to art, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.  This reaction may not be related to the artists spiritual or emotional experience of creating the art, sometimes it is obvious the message the artist is sharing and sometimes not. 

I often got through dry spells but my creative friends remind me that this is part of the process.  You must recognize the necessity of this still period and allow it to happen, let the ideas gather, build and eventually they will flow again.  There are certain actions we can take as artists to nurture this creative process.  Reading things that may be completely foreign and letting ideas about new topics create sparks of energy.  In my last posts I spoke about play and collaboration as other ways to invoke the creative process.   A natural sense of curiosity can spark many new creative fires.  When we are anxious and our minds are busy processing the many lessons of life we may feel emotionally drained and this is like a big wet blanket putting out the fires of our creativity.  The biggest challenge I face as an artist is to recognize that being an artist is a process, creating art is a process.  It is not about the outcome, the recognition or the completed piece of “art” it is about the need to create something that is an expression of yourself.  Personal and unique and only something you could create, this is yours alone.

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