Skip to main content

Creativity, Uncertainty and Possibility

When you're new to something, Rick Rubin enlightened us, you bring an ignorance that can be highly innovative. The usefulness of experts is indisputable but when you need a breakthrough freshness of insight is a priority. Indeed, so much of what we know somehow stands in the way of developing new perspectives. In a sense, we're at all times hostages to our mental models. And only by becoming familiar with them and aware of them can we learn how to see things from a new angle. 

Sometimes we may need to impose constraints on our projects in order to channel our creative energy. At other times, we may be asked to do exactly the opposite: drop the limitations, un-scope and acknowledge the importance of exploring something totally new, even if we don't know where this would lead us to. Unchartered territories obviously don't come with maps. They do, however, come with the promise of allowing us to be the first to map them while navigating them based on our inner compass. 

Newness would not be exciting without a touch of uncertainty and a great deal of possibility in it. Develop a higher tolerance for uncertainty and wallow in the sense of possibility. Where no one has been before, nothing is yet tested or declared impossible. Innovative experiments are often labeled as risky, decisively reserved only for the daring few. Yet, at second thought, the daring few can do whatever they want because there are no rules in a realm that yet needs to be put on the map.

Some live in a dream world. Others are happy to find a dream world living within them. I agree with Lynda Barry that at the center of everything we call "the arts", and children call "play", is something which seems somehow "alive". This aliveness allows for an unexpected bolt of creativity to arrive and occupy its space most gracefully and unapologetically. It inevitably leads to authentic work, accompanied by the feeling that we're committed to participating in the coming into being of something honest and important to us. To us, maybe not to the world but to us.

What we create and the way we create it can provide a surprisingly accurate feedback about how invested we are into our work. What we make mirrors what we feel while we're making it. If we don't like the reflection, we should not get mad at the mirror. We simply must make the necessary adjustments to its source. Through patient and compassionate observation, we can learn how to distinguish between what others tell us we should want and what we truly desire, between real and imagined obligations, between what's necessary and what is intended. 

The materials and the media we've chosen to express our vision with are invaluable mentors. If we bother to remain observant of their guidance, our play can keep developing joyfully and productively. Aside from an honest reflection of what we're putting in our creations, our materials of choice are there to help us identify constraints, limitations, but most importantly, possibility. 

In a very real sense, creativity teaches us how to live and what to pay attention to. It is both a context  and a purpose in itself. By surrendering to its power, we get the opportunity to live our way into the answers we seek. 


As artists and creative entrepreneurs, we all need some support and reassurance when we feel our creative muse is slightly less present. Here is an often updated collection of notes-to-self, ideas and suggestions how to appease our creative anxieties so that we can keep doing what we love and enjoying the business side of it.


Popular posts from this blog

Life - Transforming Questions

If the quality of our life depends on the decisions we make. And the quality of our decisions is largely determined by the quality of the questions we ask, what are the questions that could lead us to the greatest breakthrough in life? Here is a (never complete) collection of questions I believe can assist you in moving forward and transforming your life. You don't have to try and answer all of them. Instead, feel free to browse through the list and contemplate the questions that resonate with you at this moment. The questions might be used also as journal prompters and in practising meditation. What do you stand for? What person do you wish to become? If thoughts shape reality, what would you like to think about that would help you move forward? If you'd have to do the impossible with nothing, where would you start? Who are you without the doing? Who are you when you just are? If you could re-imagine and transform their life just by visualizing and thinking, wha

Why Bother Making Art?

Art is the highest form of hope and the boldest form of self-expression. Creativity - the greatest rebellion in existence. It takes courage to create and share our work.  Both art and creativity are based on transgression and rooted in possibility. Their right of existence lies in providing an opportunity for a space to shape itself around a concept.  Artistic work is both a matter of survival and a chance to learn how to live, achieving inner stability and restoring the connection with the core of our being. We go through a fragile process of filtering perceptions, learning, un-learning and re-learning how to listen, look and see before giving birth to new realities. We allow ourselves to become who we are. "Art-making is not about telling the truth but making the truth felt."-  Christian Boltanski Yet both vulnerability and authenticity require practice. Exposing the core of our being to a world of friends and strangers to love, criticize or ignore is never simple