Creativity, Self-development

An artist of the floating world*

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I’m happy to be back here again. It took me a long while to unfold my need to be writing again. I’ve been learning to master the art of (dis)connection and at the same time, proving myself that art was not mere an object of my passion. I’ve been under much stress, that’s true. And the fact that I feel lonely and full of energy has made me think twice how was I going to continue with my writing.

Many things are happening at the same time, life evolves in mysterious ways and sometimes what we think normal isn’t like that anymore. Nothing wrong with that. There aren’t absolutes. We tend to think we are on the right path, and the following moment fall into emptiness without warning. And that’s fine. Although we may be not prepared for it.

Let’s see.. In the past months I’ve realized my writing hasn’t improved much. I’ve been too much involved with myself, my own visions of life, changing from one subject to the other. Keeping my head among the clouds, walking all the time on the same circle. In that sense I don’t see much improvement. There has been no reality check after all, no art.

And what is art after all?

Art is always art, even if it is not recognized as such by everyone. It goes beyond mere interpretation. We tend to think art is a matter of perception, as beauty is. But one thing is art, another is aesthetics. And what about creativity? Last week I had an Skype session with a fellow writer. We share our nationality (Argentine) as expats living abroad. I must admit I’m not an easy (w)riter, I don’t make friends easily with colleague writers. Creativity and art are sometimes difficult subjects of experience. And writers can be lonely people. In this session we talked about ourselves, who we were and what were we doing. The word ‘artist’ escaped from my mouth and she asked me in which sense was I that, or why did I think I was actually an artist. It didn’t occur to me to think so thoroughly about this.

In my mind I’m a writer, even without having anything published on my name. But an artist? What does this exactly mean? The answer couldn’t take too long, so I quickly changed my mind and said: I’m a creative person. With this statement there were no more questions asked.

Creativity is not a matter of interpretation, it’s a matter of doing, creating something new, coming up with new ideas, new models, new concepts. In this area I feel like fish in the water. Later, I kept thinking to myself, why was that difficult for me to say I was an artist? Am I actually one? Can I call myself one? Or should I go through complicated tests to be able to say that? This thought kept coming and going all the time inside my head. I still don’t have a clear answer. Of course, I did check later on internet looking for a clear definition about art, being an artist and creativity.

Wikipedia gives a certain idea about what an artist is. And if I am to agree with their definition, it is because the concept is comprehensive and easy to understand: “An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only. The term is often used in the entertainment business, especially in a business context, for musicians and other performers (less often for actors). “Artiste” (the French for artist) is a variant used in English only in this context. Use of the term to describe writers, for example, is certainly valid, but less common, and mostly restricted to contexts like criticism.”

Fair enough. Writers can be called artists, although it is not really common. Who cares? Is it so important what others think? Is it so necessary to have the consensus of others? Why do I keep myself busy with this issue? I will tell you why.

Unfolding your inner nature

For the last half year I’ve been keeping myself busy with new and old concepts about life and who do I want to be. It seems to me that no matter how old or young we might be, we are creatures of change. It can also be a sign of the times we are living. I believe all crisis in life can bring out new ways to create. In the sense that when we are used to do things in a certain way and for an X reason that isn’t possible anymore, we need to grab new ideas and concepts to subsist.

Creativity focus on the moment. “Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others” From Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken. Since I’m in the mood for definitions at this stage of my life, perhaps because of an existential life crisis, either by my next turn of decade or just the plain fact that I’m going under a life crisis itself, everything is changing in my environment. But yes, also because this year I will be turning 40. Anyway, for this reason or another, my mind tends to float in this ocean of uncertainty. Without direction. I sense myself as *an artist of the floating world, as the title of one of my favourite novel writers, Kazuo Ishiguro.

“Life is, by all judgments, a subjective experience. And yet, we still trust in the ability of people to evaluate and share their perceptions in journalism, storytelling, history, law, and science. It is the responsibility of the artist, the scientist, and the historian to convey an individual’s window on the world. Art is not a one-sided conversation, and it doesn’t help to continue acting like it is.” From the article ‘What makes art good?‘ by Kinsey Lane Sullivan.

Talenting your art

Since I reconnected with my Facebook network (remember? I’ve been under a FB Detox during two long months) many times I have the idea that I wasn’t missing anything at all. Ok, of course it has been great to reconnect with old friends and family, and also I agree FB is a great tool for communications and searching for new opportunities. But as crazy as it can sound, many of my friends think I am spending all my time on Facebook. Which is not entirely true. I admit I am more into it and I’m more attentive to what happens around but nope, I’m not spending all day there. If you happen to have an smart phone, and downloaded the FB app, yes, then it looks like you are all day surfing this social media network. But this is far from true. I’m a mother, with two young kids. And as a writer, mom, also a housewife (term which I absolutely hate), and a creative mind, I don’t have all day to be spending on this social media tool. But I’m aware this can be the image some people have about me. Anyway, I don’t actually care what people think about how do I connect and disconnect. But what I do care, or better be said, I happen to realize more and more, is that there’s little creativity left.

Aren’t you a bit fed up of all these ‘so called entrepreneur‘ groups where people and businesses are offering all the time the same? I’m bored to death with all people doing exactly the same. From cupcakes to coaching, counselling and the same workshops over and over again about how to make your LinkedIn profile or something similar. There’s nothing new about that. There’s also no big secrets anymore. Ok, people can continue using social media to promote their services and products, nothing wrong about that, but please, stop posting over and over again the same ideas, the same concepts. Much ado about nothing. Isn’t the crisis bringing us new stuff? How can we stay open to creativity and at the same time fulfil the empty spaces? And of course, the one million question is, how do we make a living from our passions? Are cupcakes and coaching a true passion or is it just some new old way to stay on the crest of the wave? I really don’t know. As an artist of the floating world, I’m not interested in criticizing other people’s passions. But, oh, yes, I can say out loud that I dislike it. Same as you can dislike my writing and that won’t change the fact that it is a piece of art.

Is art the consensus of the opinion of a majority?

I clearly miss more creative tools and ideas. I clearly miss the point of reinventing myself in our everyday’s life. I asked myself, is art the definition of what others think? Well, I don’t think so. Art is art, no matter the perception. But I do think we make art as a whole by finding out our true talents. I mean, if you feel yourself an artist of the world, you may want to practice and master your art in the solitude of your moments. Grabbing your inner nature talents, exploring what make your passions true, evolving into a new you, creating and being (or staying) creative. Then later, when your work is done, you want to expose it to the world. You offer your piece of art to others, critics, public, family and friends, waiting for it to be recognized as such. When it comes to criticism we are either hiding behind our experiences, our noble desires of reinvention, than expecting to be treated as equals. Art imitates life (mimesis) “In ancient Greece, mimesis was an idea that governed the creation of works of art, in particular, with correspondence to the physical world understood as a model for beauty, truth, and the good. Plato contrasted mimesis, or imitation, with diegesis, or narrative. After Plato, the meaning of mimesis eventually shifted toward a specifically literary function in ancient Greek society, and its use has changed and been reinterpreted many times since then.” Wikipedia. Is art imitating life or is life imitating art? I don’t think that matters much. So long, we artists, feel the need to express ourselves as individuals or as a collective platform we are engaging ourselves in creating a better world. At least, a more fair world. More justice, more honesty. Art as a consequence of our true desires and ideas. As a whole new world of ideas. And not just the mere individualistic need of fulfilment. I’m unsatisfied. I’m hungry for new ideas, new ways of making a better world. And I write. Because, art as a whole new world, is the only way my heart feels for more life. And passion.

I also want to leave you with this link about a whole new concept: Art for Humanity. Art projects for a better world, for humanity.

And last but not least, I wanted to tell you about a whole new idea I’ve experienced last Saturday. I attended a really creative and interesting network meeting in the city of Amsterdam, with different freelancers, all working in the cultural, social and artistic scene. It was a great learning experience and I met really interesting people. I wish there were more of these creativity circles. Out there, many others are already sharing the same feeling. Not for nothing, small networks are coming out of the earth in the search of a more co-operative and collaborative way of doing things. Joining forces and talents. This is the world I want to take part in. Hope to meet other people like this. You’re welcome to join too. Because, I truly believe, art is a medium. Artists are the ones who can bring the message and the true aim is to use our creativity as a whole. A better world is only possible with better people.

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7 thoughts on “An artist of the floating world*

  1. You summed up a great potpourri of your thoughts on pursuing your art with Warhol’s quote. So much of what you’re pondering reminds me of my creative process. In fact, I’ve decided a succinct term for myself (since it’s long-winded to say I’m a fine artist/photographer/designer/writer) is “creative professional.” Try it on, see if it works for you! Thanks for giving us a lot to reflect on and the brilliant idea about creativity circles.

    1. Thanks! My last name is actually Zinno. Struggling, in my opinion, means that you’re focused on the right path. Struggling, same as doubting and doing something for it, moving any other way, remains the important thing: finding out who you are. Success with your search!

  2. Interesting post Georgina 🙂

    You definitely seem to be trying to find your “pigeonhole” or “label” to define yourself. I think that is pretty natural. It seems certainly true as we age and continue to reevaluate ourselves and our lives. I am not sure that process ever truly ends, nor should it. We should be on a constant journey throughout life and our passions, interests, etc will all change.

    What makes you want a label? Why not be able to define yourself as an artist if that is what you want to be? There are a great many starving artists out there not being paid for it. Does it make them any less an artist? I adore anything creative and see creativity all around me. Sometimes, it comes in the most surprising areas.. including those cupcakes. Granted, not all cupcakes show a deep sense of creativity, but I appreciate the effort. Years ago, when I was singing, I learned that you always clap for someone.. even if they were not terribly good. I applaud the effort and taking the risk. 🙂

    One of the things I learned on my own life journey is that I do not fit under one label. I have as many as I have aspects of my personality and interests. Those passions and interests are constantly evolving depending on where my life leads me. Am I a scientist? Yes, even though I am not currently working in the field. It is still a part of me. Am I a creative person? Yes, even though I do not make money in it. Do I follow my passions? Most definitely. Not one label defines me completely and I imagine the same is true with you.

    You are a Mom. You are a housewife (I also had problems with that one), you are a creative soul. You are about to turn 40. What will that mean? Define what that means yourself. Are you an artist? That is for you to decide and to accept. Don’t wait for someone else to define it for you or to be paid to do it. If writing is what moves you, chase that dream. If making cupcakes makes your heart sing.. bake away (baking is my personal therapy, btw). While you are at it… look for the surprising creativity and art in the world around you.

    There can be art in almost everything… food, music, painting, writing. Try not to dismiss things just because they do not fall into a certain “art” category. Creativity is all around us if we are open to see it. Applaud it all, accept it, and surprisingly.. you may accept your own art even more. 🙂

    1. Dear Susan, first of all I want to say sorry that I asnwer your message so late. I don’t really have excuses for that so I won’t come now with anything. Second, thanks so much for your message. When I read it for the very first time I thought indeed I had been a bit too harsh critizing people about their creative ways, such as with cupcakes. And third, your words kept running into my mind all the time. You made me think much about it all. And I do have some answers for you, but as time already has passed from the moment you wrote this, I won’t come into much details now.
      Anyway, I really appreciate you took the time to read my post and added this beautifully written message. It went right to the point.
      On my behalf I must say, indeed I’m a person who has always been questing for answers related to my identity. This has been playing already for too long. And I have to say that although deep inside of me I know this is just a matter of attitude towards myself, I still don’t know where my footsteps will take me in life. I can tell you about my difficult childhood and later teenager years, I think that period of time has set a strong and deep mark in my life, and for that reason I’m still searching for myself. But I also don’t want to escape from what you actually so clear said.
      In some way we are all creative people.
      And if I was having doubts about myself or the way other people show themselves was due to my currently life situation. A really really difficult one.
      You see, life (as you know really good after your health problems) can sometimes be different than you have expected, and it remains a human thing to look for answers beyond your environment. With my critical way of saying I was meaning this: that I was longing for more humanity instead of business. And this happens to be my personal quest. So, of course, people can still feel and think in any creative ways to do what they best want and feel to do, and I am no one to say the opposite.
      Deep inside I was just longing for something more human. In a much phylosophical way. But true is that I expressed it wrong.
      Thanks for your wise words!
      A big hug!

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