Thursday, July 7, 2016

Unleashing Your Creativity!

 “If upon a white canvas I jot down some sensations of blue, of green, of red – every new brush stroke diminishes the importance of the preceding ones.”
—Henri Matisse, “Notes d'un Peintre,” Pg. 411.


Light Through the Bent Grass. 
Photo by Charles Wolf. Impulsive Artistry © 2016.

I have previously written about the challenges to a creative lifestyle, but find that I have not addressed the idea of creativity itself. Several of the guest artists featured on this blog have done so quite elegantly, speaking of their individual approaches to their artistic endeavors—the composer, David Gonzalez, wrote a beautiful explanation of this topic in his feature about his work “A Moment in Time” that is well worth a read! I will not summarize his thoughts here in this article, so be sure to check it out:  




According to the Google definition, “Creativity” deals with the usage of “imaginative or creative ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” While somewhat vague, we now have a springboard for this discussion. How do we find or develop these “creative ideas?” That is where things become quite personalized—I will expand on this further on in the article.

You may counter: “I am not a creative person” or “I don’t have any creative ideas.” You may be more creative than you think. Problem solving and analytical skills can be a large part of many creativity activities and also there are many different levels of creativity. These range from simple projects where you can work within a well-defined framework with only a few creative choices that you must make. One such example is coloring; a preset image and all you have to decide is what colors to use (great practice for more creatively complex activities like drawing or painting by the way).


Dawn Cloudscape. Photo by Charles Wolf. 
Impulsive Artistry © 2016.

Another simple creative task that really anyone can do is photography, an activity that I personally enjoy very much! Find a nice secluded spot; take a number of photos at different angles, choosing to focus on brightly lit spots or darker areas. Will you focus on something near you or far away? If you can’t decided, no problem, do both! Then you can look through and find the photos that appeal to you the most, and create a collection that you can share with your friends and family via social media sites like Instagram or Facebook.

In a contrast, a higher-level creative activity would be something like painting an original abstract, writing a novel, or composing music etc… If these tasks seem too time consuming (a challenge to every creative life) or beyond what you feel you can attempt, then try a simpler project to undertake that fits better with your schedule. I often tell my piano students who complain that they can’t find the time to practice during the week: “you will never find the time to practice, you must make the time!” This is true of all projects that are worth doing, creative or otherwise. If something is important to you, then you will have to make time to do it. 

Another thought that I strongly encourage you to ignore and cast from your mind is “why be creative at all, many other people can do it better than me anyway, why start now?” The answer is that creativity takes courage, a lot of courage. I, and many other artists, have found a lot of joy in creating something new. It is so satisfying to step back and be proud of what you have made. The goal is to be the best you can be, work hard at it, and never give up! “What if I hate it?” Then keep at it, until you love what you create. Eventually, you have a day where everything seems to be effortless, and you create something that is truly beautiful.

Truthfully, you never know when a creative idea will pop into your head – it may be a complete image of the finished work or just a tiny fragment that when developed, becomes a completed work of art. You may just begin to “jot down some sensations of blue, of green, of red…” and find that it turns into something new!


"Coral Reef." Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24in. Artist Charles Wolf. Impulsive Artistry © 2016. This work is currently being displayed at the Litmus Gallery in Downtown Raleigh, NC as part of the "Transcending Nature Collection." 

To conclude, I hope that you feel inspired or at least encouraged to be a little more creative in your day-to-day routine. Here a few more ideas: Take a sip and paint class where they show how to create a lovely piece of art, start some music lessons in an instrument that you always wanted to learn, but haven’t got around to yet… the choices go on, but find something that gets you excited and enjoy every moment!

If you want even more creative ideas to pursue, then see my article about “Seven Creative Activities that Anyone Can Do.”


Question of the Day:

What creative project(s) are you working on right now?

Tell me all about them in the comments below or on the Impulsive Artistry Facebook Page—I would love to hear from you! 

Have a fantastic creative day!

—Charles  


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