In my previous creative experiment I painted a tree, and to be honest, I felt a bit of a fraud. Yes, it was creative in the sense that no-one has painted that exact same tree before, but I was still constrained. Psychologies’ sub-article ‘Creativity Master Class’ suggests that the following hinders creativity: wanting to conform, fear of being judged and the desire to stand out. I think she’s hit the nail on the head. There is something about my tree that screams perfection, conformity and fear. In fact, the finished article speaks volumes about me as a person. Those nearest to me will readily tell you I am a perfectionist who likes everything to be in order. Once a bit of a rebel, I now embrace conformity of sorts; I rarely like people disagreeing with me and am scared to stand out but also crave it. Those facets of my personality mean that my tree was as it was. Different yet constrained. According to the author, the first step in breaking down those mental barriers is to do away with discipline (but I’m an academic!) and re-engage with freedoms to do what you want. Tree number two coming up.
Here it is. It’s somewhat different to the previous attempt. Tonight, I wanted colour. I wanted to use my fingertips and feel the paint sliding across the page. I wanted to not care about the final outcome. And this is the result. This piece is not about showing you that I can/ can’t paint. It is a pure expression that draws upon imagination. It is vulnerability on a page. It shows that I am no Picasso but that I’m not even trying to be. It is my creativity for a brief moment in time, laid bare for you all to see. It’s an extension of me. I can’t say I’m particularly proud of it, and it’s not something I plan to hang on my wall, but it was definitelymore fun to paint than my previous attempt was.
So what has reverting back to being a five year old child shown me? Firstly, originality can be brought about by throwing caution to the wind and forgetting about everyone else, and just doing. Secondly, sometimes creativity does not necessarily result in something you yourself will like and be proud of. And thirdly, if in doubt, get messy….