Where does creativity come from?

Artists have bought into the idea that creativity and making art comes from suffering, heartbreak and disillusionment. Florence Welch is correct when she says that each of us can make ourselves discontented, and I know many people who practice it. But does creativity need to come from heartbreak, despair and sadness?  I don’t think so.

Creative sabotage

Many artists I know sabotage all the good things in their life. They work really hard at jeopardizing beautiful relationships, meaningful friendships and opportunities to sell their work. It would seem that many feel the need to avoid happiness at all costs in their attempt to be more creative.

I am very happy right now. I have everything I have ever wanted and have so much to be grateful for. My life is filled with joy and happiness, and I get to spend my days painting in a beautiful studio. Like many of my colleagues, I got used to creating in some of the darkest moments of my life and moments of deep unhappiness. Now that I live such a beautiful life, do I really want to sabotage my happiness in believing that I need to suffer to create? I think not!

Patterns and processes

Creativity involves patterns and processes. These patterns and processes form habits. In other words, an artist learns to work in one way and very rarely do they venture outside the known. If you have only created in sadness, sadness becomes an ingredient in the process of creativity. If an artist doesn’t have any sadness in their life, they will “create” the necessary sadness to do their work. If they feel that a disastrous relationship is necessary to be more creative, they will make that happen.

Change is a good thing.

From my personal experience, I believe it is necessary to learn how to create from different sources if we create new kinds of work. If we repeated go to the same well as a source, our work would always be the same. If we can find new sources for our creativity, our work will change, which is definitely a good thing.

Feeding your creativity

How I feed my own creativity has become of deep interest to me. Becoming aware of the patterns of self-sabotage that I use to get myself there has helped. Being conscious that I am in a place of deep contentment that I do not want to lose. Realizing that I have never been this happy in a long time. Acknowledging that I  should require no struggle or unhappiness to get the work done.

It’s about learning

Many of us creative types may have to learn how to create in the many different emotional states that our life entails. Creativity cannot only work in one way, and thinking this way is ridiculous.

Happy creativity!

Quote of the day

“When you’re heartbroken, you’re at your most creative – you have to channel all your energies into something else to not think about it. Contentment is a creativity killer, but don’t worry – I’m very capable of making myself discontented.”

~ Florence Welch ~

Buy the drawing

Title: Annie Sleeping
Size: 22 x 30 inches
Medium: Mixed media on paper


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