12 x 18 soft pastels on Kitty Wallis Professional White
by Miki Willa
I have run across a series of questions about being an artist and creativity at Textures, Shapes, and Color. I have been thinking about the answers to these questions and decided to tackle the question of creativity first. Here are the questions:
1. What is it that I want from my creativity?
2. What does my creativity want from me?
My first step was to look up some definitions for creativity. Wikipedia, not always my favorite source, defines creativity as a "mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts." Another online definition is the "re-evaluating or combining old ideas." Websters says, "Creativity is marked by the ability or power to bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill." And finally, Carl Rodgers, writer and philosopher, defines creativity as "the emergence of a novel relational product, growing out of the uniqueness of the individual." With this small research done, I can now begin to examine my own creativity.
As an artist, I have, and continue, to evolve along the creativity curve. When I first started out, I wanted to recreate exactly what I was seeing - photorealism. I actually started out doing technical illustrations, then moved on to other forms of illustration. There are many artists I know who don't believe there is any creativity in illustration. Skill, yes, but nothing of the individual self. At the time, I thought I was being very creative. Now, I am not so sure.
Over time, I have moved more in the direction of painting my impressions of what I see, bringing my own individuality to the piece. Is this creativity? It is hard to fit this into the first couple of definitions I found unless you accept the premise that art is always new if it comes from within, and is not a copy of another artist's work. It is much easier to fit my work as an artist into Rodgers definition.
Now, what do I want from my creativity? I want joy, clarity, and fulfillment. I want to continue the enjoyment of watching my inner vision emerge onto a blank piece of paper. I want to continue to learn to express my own individualism, to continue to find new relationships between existing concepts. I don't want much, right?
What does my creativity want from me? It wants continued growth and practice. It wants silence of the inner critic, but guidance from the inner critique. It wants to be shared. It also wants me to continue to stretch, not only in my mind, but in my creations. It wants me to continue to practice creativity.
About the painting: This is the punty warming oven at Uptown Glass in Renton, Washington. I am particularly happy with the oven and the intensity I was able to achieve. This is number four in the glass blowing series.