In the last post, I explored the idea that there is a pervasive view of creativity being less than a worthwhile professional pursuit.
I pointed out that the education system in Britain makes no bones about whipping the dramatic arts off the curriculum and likely will do with fine art shortly.
Sad times. However, repress anything fundamental to human flourishing and it will find a way to break through. You see, we are all artists. That’s right. Everyone of us.
Picasso famously said “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up” which has been used so much it’s almost boring but there is gold in them there hills.
Seth Godin, author of the brilliant Icarus Deception, says this about art:
“What makes someone an artist? I don’t think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren’t artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.
An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another”
I certainly couldn’t say that any better. We all gravitate towards the artists around us whether they are busy at a canvas, brush in hand or serving us coffee with a level of care, precision and commitment that leaves a love shaped impression on our soul. Art brings life. My daughter had a childminder when she was two who proved this to me. This lady ran her business from a little unassuming council house in Bolton. She took the act of childminding and turned it into an art form. The level of care she took over every detail from food prep for the children to feedback for the parents was phenomenal and every time you left you felt changed. You felt like the nurturing of the children was the most important thing in this lady’s life. Which, in turn, made you appreciate it in a new and different way.
What if you spent your days more artfully? What if you used every opportunity to create positive change in the other person at work or in class while you serve or practice your craft?
To be continued.
To you, who is very much an artist.