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It's Not What You Create, It's That You Create : Page 3

It's Not What You Create, It's That You Create

By Kate Quinlan

continued from page 2

Five Practices to Embrace

It's as important to recognize attributes that you must resist as it is to determine the behaviors to take with you on your personal creative adventure. Many will give the advice that it is essential to not be afraid of failure. They are right, but they are also oversimplifying the dilemma of feeling uncreative. It's easier to say don't be afraid than to figure out what to do with your fear. To act courageously is not to be without fear; rather, it is to go forward in spite of fear. That's the start of the adventure, taking that first step and daring to begin.

Daring: You must have the courage to begin anywhere, anytime. Better yet, you must dare to begin creating here and now. Dare to follow an unexpected direction, to take a side road that appears, to create the unforeseen. Dare to make the sky yellow. Dare to tear rather than cut the paper. Dare to photograph out of focus. Dare to put a bit of yourself into your work.

When you are creating, you are exploring what you see and feel, playing with ways to use materials and tools, combining what you discover, and creating something that didn't exist before. That takes some nerve! And it takes trial and error, and trying over again. But daring will take you to the discovery of new entities, visually, audibly, tactilely, and emotionally. In the process, you will learn great things about yourself, your vision, your heart, your endurance, perseverance, stamina, and your sense of joy.

If you never create anything that takes the art world by storm, wouldn't you still gain great things? Wouldn't you still benefit from the experience? You can't make mistakes, because there are none. So dare to begin. Think about it, talk about it, gather the materials. Pick up the brush, dab it in paint and make a mark. Now keep going. Keep trying, exploring, and daring. It will get you much further than being afraid of making a mistake.

Inkling: You simply cannot be fully aware of all that your mind holds. You can't hear every message your brain sends. Many messages you act on automatically, many are pondered, and many are dismissed or ignored. It's easy when life gets too busy to miss some of the quieter messages, the zephyr of thought that is barely perceptible with all else that is going on. But those little whispered suggestions, echoed bits of self knowledge and kernels of wisdom you've filed away are the inklings, the keys to unlocking information and ideas that reside in the back of your mind. From these inklings emerge ideas from which you can create. They are the non-automatic, the less expected, the stuff from which you can generate the extraordinary.

You need to silence the pragmatic voice and listen carefully to the more fanciful, the less reasonable, the impish, obscure and outrageous. It is definitely there, even when seemingly silenced. Listen for the voice that has ideas. Honor your intuition. Quiet the boisterous brain that says, "We should do it like this!" Hear the timid whisper that says, "What if we tried it another way?" As you practice such listening, the voice of inkling will develop the courage to speak up more frequently. You will learn to hear it more clearly, and grow more appreciative of what it has to offer.

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