Where does creativity come from? What fuels it? What makes that well burst in some people and dry out in others? What is creativity anyway? What the heck am I going on about?
Minds far more trained than mine have tried to tackle these questions, so it’s not like I’m really trying to come up with an answer for the ages. But I’ve been wondering about them lately because I’m actively thinking about my art and process, and figuring out my creativity is a component of that series of thoughts.
Creativity is not inspiration, though many confuse the two. Inspiration is what gives birth to the idea which gives birth to art. Creativity, however, is what transforms inspiration into idea into art. Without creativity, inspiration and a dollar get you a cup of coffee (there must still be $1 coffee somewhere, right?).
For me, inspiration comes from a thousand places: it comes from a song, or from a movie, or a photograph. Or even from just a snippet of those. Maybe from a half-forgotten memory, or the way I understood something wrong, yet so right. It comes from other people’s art, other people’s processes, or other people’s mistakes. Inspiration comes from a thousand places, but creativity? It comes from one place.
My creativity comes from a compulsion to express myself–my Self–using this imperfect body, this imperfect language, this imperfect mind, in order to expose my Soul, my Spirit.
There’s no other reason. It’s irrational, really. It’s taking Frost’s road less traveled and adding potholes and neverending construction as if it was I-95. But I have no choice. I’m compelled to express mySelf creatively. I have spent decades trying to do so, imperfectly every single time, and I will spend decades still trying to do so, imperfectly as well.
There’s no other way.
And what a beautiful thing that is.