My 8 year old daughter, Angelina, sang her heart out last year in the 2nd grade Christmas show. The sprit of the season was alive and well in that school auditorium. While she may not be the next American Idol, she was in her sweet spot. She was joyfuly creating art; her art and loving every moment of it. No one was scoring her pitch or tone.
No assesment of costume design. Hair and make-up were what you’d expect from dad and ten minutes of prep time. None of that mattered. She was enjoying the experience and still giving it her all. She did it because she loves to sing and make me smile. The bible tells us to have faith like a child (Mat 18:3). This is Belief with no strings attached, totally focused on one thing. Can we, as artists, create in the essence of “faith like a child”? To create a sustainable flow of content, we must! Driving home late last night, I struggled to keep the car straight and lane changes felt as deliberate as speaking an unknown language. I was tired and didn’t feel well, so what normally is “mental muscle memory” needed specific focus and deliberatness. Driving, like walking and chewing gum, is much more effective with an element of the “automatic”. The same is true for creativity. Whether writing a book or developing a marketing campaign, we are all creating something. We will be judged for the quality of our work by our customers, peers, and bosses. If, we can capture some of the “freedom” Angelina had singing Jingle Bells,
we can move ourselves from deliberate and forced content creation to intentionaly free creation:
“creativity in the essence of faith like a child”. This doesn’t come with a 10 step or even 5 step how-to.
Free creation comes from intentional practice.
Unnecessary creation, a term coined by Todd Henry of the Accidental Creative suggests giving yourself projects for you that give you the chance to develop skills. Being intentional with creativity, as I am with this blog, gives me a low risk opportunity to practice writing. Maybe you want to paint, or sing, or build cabinets. Do something for yourself that won’t get any judjement or expectation. Enjoy the process of building. You are the joyful artist. Find your canvas. If you can’t enjoy the process of your art, you might be creating the wrong art.
Rocco De Leo