Creativity is a rather abstract concept; it is hard to fully comprehend and observe all its internal workings because it’s not something you can put your finger on. The final (end) product of the creative endeavor is tangible, but the process involved to get to it is hardly quantifiable. There is no instruction manual that will teach you the formula for creativity which will lead to success; after all, creativity is a state, a subjective one that manifests itself differently from one person to the next.
Last week, we discussed about some key components to creativity: solitude and self-awareness. Both work together, as solitude without self-awareness is little effective to the creative process. In the same manner, there is a link between self-awareness and honesty in creativity.
Creativity is fueled by the creative person’s perceptions and emotional experiences. Art or the end product of the creative endeavor is most powerful when the audience can relate to what is expressed.
When you see a piece of art, you like it if you can relate to it, if it speaks to you and to your experiences. Behaviors can be faked, emotions can’t. We are drawn to some things more than others because a chord is struck. Think about your favorite songs, books, paintings and what they all have in common. What is it that is stirred in you when you listen, read, or look at them? We respond well to the emotions portrayed because we can relate, we know, we’ve been there.
If the end product of the creative process lacks honesty of emotion, the end result – even if nice- feels hollow and disconnected because we can’t relate to it.
Some attempt to express creatively while operating under the assumption that creativity is a well defined box: assumptions about the type of lifestyle that creative people lead, that creativity looks a certain way, and that the end product ought to be something specific. Everything else that does not fit with these original assumptions is thrown out, discarded. This wouldn’t be a problem in itself if you, me, us, and them were not human beings: conflicted, deeply emotional, and inconsistent.
Dig deep within and beautiful art will follow.
Creativity feeds on human emotions and flaws. There is nothing perfect about either the creative process or the creative person, and this is the beauty of it. Creativity does not demand perfection, rather honesty about who one is and what one’s experience in the world is. Creativity requires honesty about who you are and how you feel no matter what “others” might say or think; it needs brutal honesty about both the positive and negatives of what makes you, you.
The goal of creativity is not to please or to avoid offending, rather to stay true to your experiences and to be who you are because after all, what makes your work stand out has less to do with external factors and much more with how much of you you choose to reveal in an honest and genuine manner. Passion is honest and it runs deep. The key is to continuously try to dig deeper so that you can express yourself more honestly and in turn be able to communicate with the others on a deeper level, one that brings you closer to them.
Honesty is something we all can do and with practice it can be a habit. It grows out of self-awareness and puts you in control of your own growth as a creative person or artist. Honesty is strength and to most people innate. You might not practice it with yourself, but it’s there at your disposal.