The news today, in a segment on www.CBSTHISMORNING.com, brings encouragement and validation that one’s creativity does indeed improve and become enhanced rather than diminished through the decades of life. Your brain continues to form inventive paths of creativity, in many cases even more effectively than it ever has. This is your creative brain on youth – Incredibly alive and open to learning!!! Yahoo!!! Bring it on!!! – but this is your creative brain with some age on it – Wise, Experienced and Dense (in a productive way) with Creative Possibilities that you discover can be combined in innovative ways.
That has always made sense to me – as an artist, I plan to do my best work ever in the next few decades. It is a known “phenom” that artists become better as they age. Well of course they do – because when you combine life experience and soul with a constantly increasing skill level the result is usually a good one. Look at the big boys and girls in the world of art – Picasso. Wyeth, Frankenthaler, O’Keefe …. they didn’t really come into their own selves until later in life. The same is true of great writers. Great anythingers. Because it takes time – time to gel and percolate and bring things you have learned and absorbed over the years to the surface. Your surface.
People need to have their souls on display in their creative pursuits. Showing your soul comes easier as you age and evolve. At some point you make the gutsy decision to unapologetically hang it all right out there – as I said in my previous blog titled THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR CREATIVITY, available in my WordPress Archives, in regard to drastically changing the style of your art in your quest for stimulation, expression and evolution, just bleed it out and show people your personal DNA. Honesty goes hand in hand with age, and good art requires honesty…which equals soul.
Have you ever heard someone say, “That home is expensively decorated and superficially impressive but it is without a soul, like a hotel room. It doesn’t look like anybody interesting lives there.” With your creative pursuits you need to LIVE THERE. You need to shows signs of life. Or I heard this said recently, “I don’t like the food served at that place – it just has no soul.” Souls need to show up. Souls need to be present to win. We all see actors playing parts without a hint of soul. It never works. No Oscar for you. Houses and kitchens, living rooms, restaurants, gardens, studios, just as music and art and writing and cooking and all the other creative pursuits, need to have souls. What are the indicators of soul?
In my opinion they are :
Depth – Go deep and also go wide. Live your life 3 dimensionally. People are saying, recently, “Stay in your own lane.” An admonishment to behave and know your place! Well Hell No don’t stay in your own lane – take a road less traveled with your creativity! Be brave and be adventurous. Color outside the lines. Make a winding path instead of a straight one.
Experience – Display reflections of your experiences in your creative life, both good and sad and even bad. Show us your joy and your pain. Be real.
Weathering by the elements through years of use must be evident. Get some wrinkles. Marinate. But do not display an expiration date.
Honesty and authenticity are a must. Wisdom as well as street smarts. Character etched by personal knowledge. Make no excuses in your creativity.
Perfect imperfection is a fascinating thing – don’t be obsessed with perfection. Be vulnerable and make some mistakes. You are a human being. Just do it – don’t wait until it is perfect.
These are some of the things – the catalysts and conditions – that help art and other creative endeavors become brilliant and soaked with soul. You can’t fake having soul – ya either got it or ya don’t babe. Being a little older can only be good in this pursuit. Self-expression comes easier the older you get. Respect that. You have earned it, you own it and so do not apologize for it. You will want to be well remembered for your adventurous spirit and your soul.