Even if you’re not an artist, at bare minimum, you should at least consider yourself creative. Why? Because you’re far more creative than you think you are. You do have an artist inside of you, though you may never become a writer, a painter, a filmmaker or a poet. Or you just might surprise yourself…
For most of my life, I considered myself an athlete. A jock. Definitely not an artist. Though I wrote a lot of books, I still didn’t consider myself as artistic or even necessarily creative. But if you and I went back back to the beginning of time, we might be surprised by what this notion of art and creativity is all about. Hell, being called ‘creative’ is one of best compliments you could ever receive…and considering yourself creative is one of best compliments you could ever give the Chef! Read on…
We are creative and artistic because we bear the image of God. We are image-bearers (Imago Dei) reflecting all of God’s creative nature to one another. That makes every single human being inherently creative. When God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils, he breathed into him a whole host of creative possibilities. You may not be Vincent van Gogh, but you are far more creative than you think you are. Robert Henri has some very insightful things to say about art and who an artist really is. From Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit:
Art, when really understood, is the province of every human being.
It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing.
When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and he opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.
The world would stagnate without him, and the world would be beautiful with him; for he is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others. He does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. He simply has to find the gain in the work itself, not outside of it.
Museums of art will not make a country an art country. But where there is the art spirit there will be precious works to fill museums. Better still, there will be the happiness in that is in the making. Art tends towards balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living–very good things for anyone to be interested in.
Questions: Do you agree with Robert Henri’s thoughts on art? Why or why not? If art is simply a question of “doing things well,” how might you be more ‘artful’ in your relationships, work and life?
I’d love your comments and thoughts.
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