Creating anything is art. It is an act of art that goes through a process. Whether one is consciously and methodically following a method like Sherlock Holmes, the detective, or spontaneously giving rise to art, creating is a process. Creation lies in moving beyond the stage when one is about creating; one, then, moves outside of contemplating the process.
What one begins to find – an important realization – is that one may remain caught in a process about creating; never getting past that stage. Do you understand what this is? Yes, it is about contemplating the creative process, never really getting into that zone where one forgets the process and actually creates the artwork. It is the level of consciousness one is working at. This is the key! This is the key to unlocking that next level. The key is not somewhere out there; it is within the creator himself.
What is being in the “about creating art” stage?
In the “about creating” stage, one hasn’t entered into the creative process. Rather, one is close to the theory of creation. He is considering creating something, or he may be considering how to create that thing. So, the person sets out going through the act of motivating oneself or others. There is an enumerating of positive reasons to create, appreciation for each of the steps of creating, but somehow never get to the creation itself.
Isn’t it interesting what the preposition, “about” really stands for? It can mean, on the subject of, or connected with; positioned around a place, often without a clear purpose or order. So, in terms of a person’s position to creating, that person is not inside or within the creative process, he is simply about it. Not having committed oneself to the actual creation, that person hasn’t found the joy that comes from the deeper involvement. His skill, his ability, and especially his consciousness hasn’t entered into that deeper level. Without that entry, the creating of art cannot come about.
“Arise, awake, stop not till the goal is reached.”— Swami Vivekananda (Meditation and Its Methods According to Swami Vivekananda)
Moving outside of contemplating the process, into creating art
Why many remain in the “about creation” stage and not move into the creative process itself is seen by examining a phenomenon of our times. The problem lies in being in a state of social engagement. This is not limited to artists who create with a pen or a paintbrush. It would be rather superficial to think of only certain humans as artists that way. Of course, some are obviously recognized as creators because they are artists, but art is a fundamental part of the personality, the makeup of humans. Creative art is also in philosophers, orators, managers, surgeons, physicists, chemists, as it is in tailors, gardeners, or the lady at the Japanese tea ceremony, and so many others. Art can express itself anywhere! The problem any of these creators face – some more than others – is in being unable to break from social engagement, mentally and emotionally.
“Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.”— Albert Einstein
The mental and emotional breakaway to enter within creativity
To break away from social engagement is to break away also from the desire for quick rewards that come from recognition. This breaking away has a direct bearing on the quality of one’s creation. As long as one is entertaining the idea of a positive response from others for the resultant work of art, a person is bound by expectations. The freedom that should coincide with the creative process is amiss because one harbors unnecessary fears and anticipations. One is also in a state of distraction. This lack of complete focus is bound to affect the quality of art, of creativity.
One wouldn’t want to be distracted while driving, or flying an airplane. One wouldn’t be distracted as a surgeon, or as a watchmaker. And, while we have come to understand teamwork in so much of human activity, the kind of social engagement that opens up to individuals today is not teamwork, and it is not creative as when one does in isolation for the work of art.
Breaking away with conscious isolation
One truly enters into creativity when one has isolated oneself mentally and emotionally from the feedback-loop of social engagement. This is an internal change. This internal change, when accomplished, disassociates one from the society that isn’t one’s team or isn’t one’s singular creative self. The singular creative self is apart from all the rest of society. There is no collaboration, there are no external expectations. Once the internal change is accomplished, then, the higher powers of art and creativity are truly unlocked.
There is no mother, father, friend, enemy, or anyone else in that creative self. And even though one may continue to carry within oneself the influence and inheritances from all those external influences, the true self is independent of their feedback. This is an especially significant creative state! This opens the zone where one has found true artistic freedom.
The process ends when freedom is found
One kind of process most certainly ends when freedom from expectations of others and the associated fears is found. The process that is obstructing many from getting engaged in the actual creation they are capable of, the process that keeps the consciousness attached to the feedback of others is good to end. And then, the actual creation that emanates from the self is freed. In that doing, the creator enters into the creation of art. His creativity is freed to work without distraction.
Freedom to create art with a clear goal
Now, an artistic creator would find himself in clear sight of his goal. In the zone, it is a fine thing to then proceed with the minimum of other distractions. With persistence, the person will find himself with deeper and deeper involvement engaging his skills, his mind, his affections, his passions, and his very soul. Only in such a state does one find the use of one’s potential.
One can proceed optimistically once he unburdens himself of the external
It is a good realization, surely one that many artists are familiar with, but gradually have lost or are losing due to staying mentally and emotionally connected to feedback. It is possible, there are artists like conversationalists who relish such feedback and build their artwork based on such. However, in the traditional understanding of art, wherein one isolates oneself and generates art as an expression of one’s inner self – especially as in music – unburdening oneself of the external is key.
The optimism one, then, feels is real. There is no need to pretend. There is no need to worry about who or why the art will cater to. There isn’t the thought of catering to anyone! And, it is out of such a state that art of lasting meaning arises. Yes, many a fine artist can testify to the truthfulness of this.