I am to myself a research subject, observing first hand how creativity works.
When I started painting, I needed just one flower to hold it and rotate it in my left hand and paint a bouquet of it with watercolor in a balanced composition. The task of arranging flowers on paper reminded me of my Chinese experience, painting with ink. At that time I was so tense to express what I see and to learn the skills of watercolor that everything else disappeared from my mind and I do not remember any thing particular to attract my attention.
Several phases later in life, when I decided to try Improvisation (Vasily Kandinski coiled the term for short time spontaneous composition) expressing images from my mind, I wanted to verify if I have something to say which is relevant to me. Doing that I was surprised to discover that, at some point while working, there was a click which moved my, down to earth mind into another level, where was no time, no rush, just a sensation of enlightenment, pleasure, followed by an easy fluid expression. I repeated this process many times for the enjoyment of those moments, which some times I could extend for hours. Some people call it inspiration, some others see it as a contact with the Muse who inspires creativity or a contact with a superior you, the Divine or God.
I think that a new, creative content is expressed by several forces which co inhabit with us and make us what we are. The first are the basic knowledge, intellectual, spiritual, images, emotions, feelings which we gather from the life around us and store it in our memory and second is the skill, the tool we use to express the content. Without a proper technical skill, adapted for the best expression of what we want to say, there cannot be a successful painting. A third component, which reveals itself at some point in the working process is a magic capability to switch gears to a higher understanding of what we are doing, which is way above us, but we can have a glimpse of it in that state of like blissful meditation which detaches us from immediate reality. That state gives me a deeper understanding of what I am doing, it feels my soul with generosity, love and gives me a happy feeling, facilitating intuitive creative content, images to match the elevated being. The capability to connect these components is within us but the source of this praised, elevated intuition is beyond my understanding. From where it comes? It is all around us and most of the time we are not aware of it? I know that it reveals more to some people less to other. How can we attract this particular state of mind energy? Some people naturally attract it, some even get possessed by it. It is a higher level of energy with extraordinary creative and healing potential, hard to be tamed.
I see all these main forces complementary to each other, neither one being enough to make a successful artist. As artists we all are different and use a blend of everything we have. Some rely more on their mind knowledge, less on intuition, like designers, architects, some others, like painters, relay more on their intuition and emotions than on their mind. Some work easily, do not need correction (remember Mozart genius who surprised Saglieri with his music, written without any mistakes or correction, as being dictated by a Divine Power), some other work hard, erasing, changing, improving endlessly. What is important for me is to be true to myself and work, and work and work to update my potential and take benefit, as much as I can, from the encounter with the superior intuition. Intuition does not change the data, memories and feelings, but uses it all as a raw material, changing, refreshing the way I look at it, raising my understanding to a deeper level which then brings me to a creative expression.
Here are some quotes I like:
“The importance of an artist is to be measured by the number of new signs he has introduced into the language of art.” Henry Matisse
“The only thing which lies in our power is to know how not to distort the voice of life that sounds within us.” Boris Pasternak
“Improvisation is intuition in action, a way to discover the Muse and learn to respond to her call.” Stephen Nahmanovith
“When you change the way to look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne W Dyer
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust
“The self, your Muse is the symphony of your body, mind and spirit, playing together as one in a supremely concentrating moment that is your unique creative gesture.” J. Carbonetti
“You’ll never loose your imagination by studying.” Gonzalo Fonseca
“Every act of creation is first of all an art of destruction.” P. Picasso
“Painting is stronger that I am and it makes me do whatever it wants.” P. Picasso
“As usual we have occupied ourselves with the outer, the objective at the expense of the inner world wherein the true roundness lies.” Mark Tobey
“Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind” Hans Hofman