It’s lightning outside, my favorite part of spring as long as tornados aren’t hiding in the rain. I’m searching for ideas for an upcoming art fair and I’m missing that “spark” of genius. A strong desire to stand outside with a metal pole to attract a spark is only outweighed by my desire to live. So where do I get a spark? Amazon?
If you are like me you have read nearly every book on creativity, cyber stalk your favorite artists and stare at your art supplies hoping they will start creating on their own. You do everything short of rubbing your face on the art at art museums to absorb creative genius.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Because it has been read in every interview of a creative person – they were just sitting having dinner and the idea just came to them like a spark. We sit around waiting for the spark to choose us, only to still be standing there with no flash of genius and soaked from the rain.
What they don’t tell you is that they weren’t just “doing nothing” until genius came along and slapped them upside the head. They were actively working on their project day in and day out. Making stupid mistakes and total missteps. They were chasing down that spark by going to their work space day in and day out, trying new things, doing the same ol’ thing, and working at their practice. Then, when they are buried in trying everything they can think, that spark of genius comes by to slap them on the ass and say “good game”. Bam! Spark of creative genius seemingly out of nowhere.
Imagine you are where you want to be creatively, in your career, wildly successful and someone asks you how you thought of the one thing that finally brought you to the top. Are you going to mention each failure, each day of slogging through work you weren’t proud of, or are you going to say, “gee, I don’t know how I got the idea. It just sort of occurred to me.” Do you really want people to know that you failed 382 times before you succeeded?
That is exactly what needs to be shared, the number of times failed before success. The crap you made for years before you mastered your art needs to be what you share as your proudest moments. This is the stuff of creative genius. That is how you find that spark of creativity. You hunt it down, chase it and make it your bitch. Then you can slap it on the butt and say “good game”.
This is why I called the site Creating Sparks, because it is up to each of us to chase it down and create your genius idea yourself. We are all creative (I don’t care what you say) WE ARE ALL CREATIVE. We make our genius ideas through our daily practice of creativity. We have to try, to stretch, to keep trying and then when it seems we have thought of everything, keep going. Doing creative challenges and exploring new things we will be actively creating our own sparks. I hope you will join me in these challenges, stretch yourself, open yourself to new ideas and keep chasing your own creative spark. I believe in your ability to spark.
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club” – Jack London