I was told by a wise friend many years ago: “If you do not manage your creativity it will die”. I spend most of my time working on a computer designing visual identity systems, WordPress websites, print collateral, event marketing and the like. It is all predetermined projects created with virtual tools. Although I do use a Wacom tablet so I have the sensation of drawing with a physical pen, I still have come to realize that I must return somehow to the physical world – creating in non-digital space – in the real world that God created, with the hands that he has given me. Nothing can replace the physical act of making art.
So in order to exercise and stretch my imagination daily and get back into the physical act of making art – I have committed myself to reviving a practice I engaged in for many years as a kid: sketching and free-form doodling every day. This may sound frivolous or a waste of time but for some of us who consider ourselves to be born with an artistic gift – intentional creativity is a must. For our own emotional, physical, mental, personal, spiritual purposes – we must find ways to create and communicate our internal world. This should not be done in a self-indulgent way. The goal is not self-expression. It is a kind of exercise in convergence – reaching upward towards God, reaching outward to the world and reaching inward to locate ourselves on the terrain of our soul – we are connecting the dots, if you will. It is an exercise in slowing down – in thinking, or rather uncovering that which is just below the surface. To not do so is to lose touch with the way that we (as artists) process life.
Too often artists and creatives merely create for themselves. It is a form of idolatry of the self. But if we are to give our artistic gifts in service to our communities we must ground ourselves in disciplines of imagination that break us out of complacency and fear. To go on we must learn again to be creative – because that is who God made us to be. It may not be through drawing and sketching – but what are some ways that you can cultivate creativity daily?