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Naked Soul: Bare Creativity

What does it mean to bare *everything* in the name of creativity? What can be discovered by tapping so deeply into the core of your being that there are no words, nor music, nor colors, nor lines, to capture it all? Where can you go if you dismiss the word “no” from your vocabulary, if you open yourself up to every idea, every thought, every emotion, and vow to chase it down for a few seconds? What will happen if you simply create, for no one at all?

Today, I am officially inviting you to expose your soul and allow your creativity to flow—vulnerable, raw, uninhibited. Not to share with me. Just to release for yourself, let it out, and see what happens.

So often, as a society, when we talk about art, or entrepreneurship, or music, or film, or science, or mathematics, or literature—any sort of creative pursuit, really—we focus on the outcome.

Sometimes there is discussion of the struggle of the creative life, and the challenges, and the rewrites and the reworks and the rejections. And occasionally there is talk about where ideas come from (often recalled in hindsight as either a sudden spark or the only obvious solution to a problem).

As consumers and observers, we want to know how the creative individual got from point A to point B, in order to best understand how we can emulate (or appreciate more deeply) creative behavior.

But it’s point B we’re interested in: The finished product. The end result. The bit that we can see.

The thing of it is, though, I’m not entirely sure it’s the right message to give up-and-coming creatives. “How I Achieved Success And You Can Too” may not be the story that needs to be heard.

Let’s say I’m young and considering my options—I want to be an artist, so I research successful artists, and I take courses, and I practice my art, and I look to the market to identify a need, and I evaluate the medium I excel at, and I figure out pricing and shows and licensing and agents, and I set up the best social media platform with hundreds of thousands of followers, and eventually I land a job in the arts (maybe in animation, maybe in advertising), and I think I’m well on my way to making a living out of it… But…

But I’ve never given myself the time or the space or the opportunity to listen to my inner core, with no attention paid to my client or my employer or what the market will bear or how to define commercial success, and when it comes down to it, I don’t know my message or what I want to say…

Well, then I’ve never really discovered my voice. I’ve developed a skill, but I haven’t determined why I’ve been given this talent, or how I ultimately wish to use it.

And to me—back to me as me, as Alana, as the founder of Of Love + Light, as a story teller and a creative and an art lover and timid art maker (not as the hypothetical “if” above)—the creative path can only be true creative expression if there is some sort of truth, and voice, and vulnerability behind it.

For a while, the opportunity to use the skill will suffice. Economic incentive, praise, and recognition are great drivers. But eventually, I think, a calling to true creative expression seeps in.

That sort of creativity can only happen when one commits to raw, soul-baring, naked, fear-facing, honest, for-my-eyes-only, courageous, all-ideas-are-on-the-table, follow-the-emotion intense moments of creation. With zero thought to how the work will be shared, or how it will be received

I recently chatted with a friend online—a dear friend in real life, and one who has been in my life for a long time, but lives too far away for a frequent coffee—and we were talking about raw creativity. How to have the courage to welcome it into our lives, and how to build boundaries around it.

To me, boundaries are critical in early creativity. When we have an idea that needs to be explored, it takes enough energy to try to shield it from our own inner critic, or imposter syndrome, or cynical realist, or whoever we’ve got inside our brains telling us that something isn’t good enough or won’t ever be good enough. It’s not fair to pile on other people’s thoughts and ideas and expectations on top of that.

Sometimes, I said to my friend, my boundary only extends to my eyes in the singular moment of creation, and then never again.

Early creativity requires more heart than mind, more intuition than rationale, and more exploration than expertise. It also requires open receptivity and a willingness to flow.

By early creativity, I mean the beginnings of any idea. Early creativity is not something that we should ever age out of or grow out of.

In early creativity, we discover what scares us. We know what we hope for. We find what we value. There are times when point B will arise from that early, raw creativity, as an iteration of something that matters so much, we feel called to mould it into a creative piece for consumption. But there will be other times that we owe it to ourselves not to share, to protect those pieces of us that aren’t ready to be met with scrutiny, and may never be ready.

That is where the real courage and magic happen, in the commitment to create for the sake of creation, with the singular intention to openly explore the creativity that comes through us, with no thought to what comes next.

Now, I return to those initial questions:

What does it mean to bare *everything* in the name of creativity? What can be discovered by tapping so deeply into the core of your being that there are no words, nor music, nor colors, nor lines, to capture it all? Where can you go if you dismiss the word “no” from your vocabulary, if you open yourself up to every idea, every thought, every emotion, and vow to chase it down for a few seconds? What will happen if you simply create, for no one at all?

What will happen if you take a few minutes every day, just for you and your inner creative, to get to know one another?

ABOUT A TO Z CHALLENGE

This month, I am writing 26 posts starting with the letters A through Z, along with hundreds of other businesses and bloggers from around the world. I first ran into the A to Z Challenge many, many moons ago (circa 2011), when I was brand new to the online writing world. It was a great way to jumpstart my creative juices, and I had so much fun “meeting” men and women sharing what they love to do.

So when I opened Of Love + Light, I knew the A to Z Challenge would be the perfect complement to Daily Dose: Inspired. Enjoy!

ABOUT OF LOVE + LIGHT

Of Love + Light is a place for uplifting media, creative inspiration, art, nifty creative publications, and storytelling. I also offer editing, creativity coaching, and small business communications planning services. Founded by Alana Garrigues, Of Love + Light is your place to come, relax, feel inspired and loved, and share more of what’s good on this beautiful planet.

Of Love + Light has infinite possibilities, and YOU are a huge part of what this will look like. Want to talk? Send me an email!

“Naked Soul: Bare Creativity” is part of the Daily Dose: Inspired series. Looking for a small something to get you inspired to take on the day? This is the place to come for a photo, a song, a pick-me-up quote, a little slice of happy. At least, these are the things that inspire me!