I had heard a Tedx talk sometime back from Elizabeth Gilbert, the best selling author of ‘Eat Pray, love’ about ego and creativity. After the runaway success of her first book, she had many doubts about herself and her creativity when her second book did not do so well. In the end, she decided to remove her ego from the equation, and thought of herself instead as a channel of universal creativity and power.
When one starts to think about praise, failure, prizes or those sorts of external motivations in connection with creativity, one can become disheartened and fearful. Today, while at a restaurant that keeps books for browsing, I discovered that Turner made 19,000 drawings in a lifetime of 76 years- a massive output. He wasn’t thinking of fame or longevity when he was painting- he was only channelling a huge creative power and displaying it to the world.
Creativity is about overcoming the terrible barriers that not only ego and fear place before us but also of those that our unique life places before us. An exhibition featuring new works by the American artist, Dale Chihuly, opened this week in London. Dale works with glass but now is working with acrylic with great swirls of paint, displaying his inner spirit and resilience. Dale is partially sighted, having lost one of his eyes in a car accident and also has a shoulder injury. He lost his only brother in childhood and a year later, his father. But he carried on searching for a way to express his creative power and found that with the medium of glass. Dale describes his role as an artist as “more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor.” Below is one of his new works.
These words from Dale really moved me and I share these with you all kindred creative spirits! You all have the access to the same power once you let go of the ego.
‘Somebody said that people become artists because they have a certain kind of energy to release. That rings true of me. It must have an outlet. That is why I draw!’