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Linda Dessau : What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

By Linda Dessau

In my 2004 Creativity Interviews, I asked 7 questions about the creative process to 19 creative artists from a variety of disciplines.

One of these questions was "what does creativity bring to your life?"

As I'm looking through the answers with new eyes, themes start to pop up in front of me. As you read through these broad themes, and the actual phrases spoken by the artists in the book, consider which ones you identify with most.

Creativity brings adventure, affects my whole life and what's "out there"

Artist spoke of a sense of "exploration", "spontaneity" and "adventure", and that their creativity "brings life to whatever I'm doing." They felt the effects of their creativity on other parts of their life, giving them "unique problem solving opportunities" and "energizing my relationships."

Creativity brings opportunities for self-discovery of what's "in here"

Artists appreciated the "heightened awareness" and increased ability to "understand myself."

Creativity brings connections to people, both in and out of my "tribe"

"I feel I'm part of a tribe of free people" was how one artist expressed this sense of connection and of being understood when they're around other artists. Another artist recognized their creativity as a "gift I can share with others" — fulfilling the desire for connection in a way that's natural and enjoyable for the artist. These are hopeful points, considering how isolated and misunderstood many artists feel.

Creativity brings a spiritual connection

Themes of spirituality such as "gratitude", "purity" and "essence" could be heard in some of the answers from artists. One claimed creativity gives them "a glimpse of the spiritual realm", and another described creativity as "a soulful experience." There was also the idea that creativity brings "a connection to something larger than myself", and "the feeling that I'm 'in the zone', in the flow of life." Many of us connect to our spirituality most easily through being in nature. One artist found that creativity brings a "freedom to recreate what I see in nature." I think one artist summed up the link between creativity and spirituality by answering with one word: "wonder."

Creativity brings an awakening, a jarring, a sense of delicious discomfort

Though I only heard one answer that fit into this theme — one artist felt that creativity brought a "discontinuity" to their life — I included it because it really interested me. What about those moments of torment — before the dissonant chord resolves itself, before the elements and colours of a painting "come together", before the ideas for a story or article make any sense. And what about the plain fact that there is ALWAYS something we won't know how to do, always something more to learn, always a creative idea who's execution is out of our reach because our skills haven't caught up to it yet. Is that partly what keeps us going?

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