Artists answer questions about how art and creativity ‘happens’ for them
One of the best parts of being called to prophetic art is doing life with other artists. All types of creativity pop into our discussions. Contrasting our different creative processes keeps the iron sharp and revitalises our thinking. Creativity is heaven’s joy in action. But if our creative process is playing “hard to get”, how do we kick start creativity back to life?
Creativity is a God-given gift that we are all born with. Some intentionally and deliberately pursue it, while others struggle with where to start. Artists are creative warriors. Sometimes we have to fight for the thoughts and ideas in our minds to become action on the canvas.
Creativity can be divided into characteristics, and each characteristic gives us the opportunity to ask ourselves questions.
Curiosity: Am I open to experimentation with my art materials?
Positivity: Have I let negativity shut down my creativity?
Motivation: Why did I step into this creative adventure?
Flexibility: Could there be more than one perspective about this?
Determination: Is there a line drawn where I know I won’t give up?
Exploration: Am I really willing to follow wherever the Lord leads?
As we put images and colour onto our canvases this month, a bunch of us in the Creative Hearts Art network dived deep into a discussion about Grace & Soul (the name of their current exhibition), what these huge words mean, how we move into our creative zone, and what creativity means to us.
The arts make life memorable and pleasurable. They say every human society displays some form of behaviour that can be called ‘art’ and in most societies, the arts play a vital role in social life. It is a biological necessity in human existence and a fundamental characteristic of the human species. Although we believe creativity exists in every sphere of life, it’s true that ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ hold hands tightly.
It is around these thoughts that we asked our prophetic artist friends these questions about their creative process and how art ‘happens’ for them.
What does ‘Grace & Soul’ mean to you?
Natasha: Grace and Soul to me is a freedom to be myself. I am accepted for who I am and how ever I come.
Julie: Grace and Soul is the state of play when entering into this creative process. I need grace for myself to bring forth what I sense, see, and feel, and then my soul brings the painting to life to the best of my ability.
Maria: Grace and Soul for me is simply staying connected to the source of all life. The Lord is the giver of grace to our soul and from that space I paint in freedom with a deep humble heart.
Robyn: Grace and Soul wrapped up means humility and heart. I paint what I feel and it takes me on a journey of self-discovery.
Wendy: Grace is a power-filled word. God gives us grace to perform the tasks asked of us – it is God’s empowering presence in our everyday walk. Our soul – our mind, will, and emotions – is where we connect with this power.
Can you describe how vital the creative process is for you in your everyday life?
Wendy: Having things surrounding me look inviting and appealing is important. I function much better when there’s peace and some kind of order – whether I’m cooking, painting or writing, my everyday life doesn’t run well in clutter, so I suppose my creative process starts with making things beautiful.
Maria: The process starts in prayer – where I start every day – and I paint from those images, visions or dreams. The creative process is a God-given gift that I love.
Julie: The creative process has become a vital part of my daily life because it brings me peace, joy and vitality to experiment and challenge myself in new things thus creating doorways for new thinking.
Natasha: Using my intuition and opening my mind to change is important every day, also having the patience to persevere when things seem not to work.
What does that first sense of a new artwork feel like? What is the ‘internal frame’ like in your mind when you start a new work?
Wendy: It’s a little like a dream, where you have a strong sense of ‘knowing’ it’s real and yet there’s no evidence. Those dreams that are a bit hazy and you can’t quite see it, but you allow it to flow. It blends together the unseen until it becomes seen on the canvas.
Juels: It feels like a tear in the curtain. Like I’ve had a quick glimpse of another reality that is waiting to be born. When I begin, it’s like my design boards for clients with colour palettes, textures, space compositions, etc, all the components are sitting in there in my mind waiting to be layered together and set out on the canvas.
Julie: The first sense is like the sun about to come out from the clouds and I’m anticipating the shadows moving out of the way. The internal frame for me is seeking the colours, images, and theme and allowing curiosity to create new pathways in my thinking, then I choose the starting colours and work out the layers.
Maria: Openness. Creativity is about being open to new ideas, new stimuli, new insights.
What is the connection between your inner and outer worlds? Do you feel movement between the two realities? Is there a shared space in between?
Wendy: I’ve always said that whatever is in your heart will come out on the canvas. Sometimes the paintings have been a wonder-filled surprise with a peace and clarity that isn’t in my mind, that’s when trust kicks in. That shared space is a place of trust. That connection between thoughts and feelings happens on the canvas.
Julie: There is a ‘shared space’ as I express my internal world on the canvas. As it becomes real it feels like ‘the bridge’ between the heavenly realm into the earthly realm.
Maria: Yes, as I transition from my creative world to my present world it feels like a ripple from one to the other like when you stir water. The Lord gives His living water.
Natasha: For abstracts, I start with loose marks of pencil or charcoal and then respond to those marks. In representational images, I may nut out the composition on the canvas and do some colour testing to choose my pallet before I start. Then I allow for an intuitive process. I get into a zone.
A huge thank you to the artists at Creative Hearts Art gallery on the Gold Coast.