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Making Meaning To Be More Creative

Dianne Albin portrait“For an artist, it is a driven pursuit, whether we acknowledge this or not, that endless search for meaning.” Dianne Albin

Like passion, meaning is another central element in how we choose which of our talents to develop and express. Finding and making meaning is especially crucial for creative people.

Painter Dianne Albin continues, “Each work we attempt poses the same questions. Perhaps this time I will see more clearly, understand something more.

“That is why I think that the attempt always feels so important, for the answers we encounter are only partial and not always clear.

“Yet at its very best, one work of art, whether produced by oneself or another, offers a sense of possibility that flames the mind and the spirit, and in that moment we know this is a life worth pursuing, a struggle that offers the possibility of answers as well as meaning.”

Painting by Dianne Albin from her site

Her poignant words are from the book: The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path Through Depression, by Eric Maisel, PhD.

One of the potential consequences of insufficient meaning in our lives and work – perhaps especially for creative people – is depression, as psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel points out in his writings.

He says in his article “Making Meaning” that the ongoing task of meaning-making “is work, but it is the loving work of self-creation. It is the choice we make about how we intend to live our life.”

And in his book “The Van Gogh Blues” he notes, “Creators have trouble maintaining meaning. Creating is one of the ways they endeavor to maintain meaning. In the act of creation, they lay a veneer of meaning over meaninglessness and sometimes produce work that helps others maintain meaning.”

Read more in my post (a brief excerpt from my book “Developing Multiple Talents”): Creating To Maintain Meaning.

A final quote: collage artist Alexis Smith says of her life and work:

“I have a way to talk about whatever I want. And that’s more meaningful to me than whether people like my work or I make a lot of money.”

From the post [with video]: Making Meaning in Art: Alexis Smith, Eric Maisel.

Are you finding real meaning in your life and work?


Making Meaning To Be More Creative

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2013). Making Meaning To Be More Creative. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Jul 2013
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