When you’re not an arty person you might think, that “being arty or creative” is easier said than done, especially when it comes from me or any other person who’s obviously passionate about creating, painting, writing and drawing (and so many other beautiful things).
I DEARLY LOVE being creative and I would probably suffer a heart attack or a break down from a lack of vitamin C (C here is standing for CREATIVITY). In the last couple of weeks, I was more exploring abstract painting and I am still exploring it. I’m a starter, a beginner but I am consciously taking a little holiday break from illustrating and simply following my inner voice that tells me to take the biggest canvas I can get and go crazy with the colours, with the paint.
Back in February when I went on a visit to Thuringia in Germany (my home area) I met with my painter friend Jana. I’m a fan of her work and I listened with excitement to the beautiful stories her art brought to her. And it was so encouraging for me to hear her say that I should try abstract painting. I felt a strong yes. Yes, I’d love to give it a go.
Frankly said, I never know how my pieces of art look to others, unless they are really good in explaining to me how they perceive it, what they see, how does it make them think and feel. But I rarely get any detailed feedback. This way I keep painting my canvases independently from anyone else’s opinion. And I think I’ve reached a point where I paint anyway what I want because I “need” to paint. Very often I feel that urge to immerse myself in creation, it’s like having breakfast because I’m hungry and when I don’t have breakfast I will starve, I will lose energy and something is really missing. Creating something is not about showing off and getting confirmation. Creating art is about telling and sharing an individual story, a feeling or it’s about letting something go. It’s healing and meditating at the same time. It’s about “doing” and “output” and less about “listening” and “input”. In times when I face challenges and difficulties; let’s say having less spare time, being involved in new, complex and complicated work; I have learned I need to create even more then. It’s absolutely necessary to put that other work away for a moment and into perspective to gain new energy for it as well. Sitting in front of a canvas, being splashed all over with acrylic paint, that’s when I feel alive and happy the most.
Having decided to give abstract painting a go, I researched some techniques and decided to try out one that looked easy to me. I would call it the fluid technique because it’s all about letting the acrylic fluids run wherever they want on my canvas. I mix a good amount of one acrylic colour with water in a glass and I start pouring it on the canvas. I can prepare my canvas with splashing water already on it so that the watery colour can run more easily. Starting with light colours works best for me and then adding the darker ones step by step. I again like to splash water on the canvas and see how the colours mix with each other. They build a nice structure. I could also pour several colours in one glass, do not really mix or stir them and then pour them onto the canvas. The outcomes are less controlled and more spontaneous. I like that, especially when the majority of my week has already been driven by intended and pre-calculated outcomes.
So, what about you? Why not buy a huge canvas, some paint, go outside in your garden or park and create a fluid acrylic painting? It’s really that easy! When I tried this fluid technique for the first time I created the painting in the picture above. It doesn’t happen often that I like my creation after I’m finished with it. But Cosmo Continents is one of these rare paintings I can look at and feel I’m still interested in it. On top of the whole joy and relaxation I had with the creation of it, I now also have something that makes me simply smile and happy when I look at it. And I look forward to creating more and improving my work with this fluid technique.
I haven’t learned how to stay creative in my life when I was in school or at uni or working in some of my previous jobs. Sometimes, creativity has been described as something I cannot earn a living with and this is mirroring a very narrow minded and limited and outdated view. Making art like painting my canvases is only one part of being creative in life. What I like is that it inspires and enables me to be more creative in my daily life and in my job. I personally think that this is key to succeed better in future in so many things.
I still hear people around me saying “oh I’m not so creative as you are” and they automatically assume they would never be able to create things like I do. Sad, sad, sad to hear that. And why am I writing this article here? Exactly! To tell you, YES YOU CAN be that creative. All you need is to start. What stops you from starting are distractions and I’m sure that you are even not aware of some of these distractions. Rather watching a film or your series, meeting with someone for a drink to avoid being “alone” after work, surfing the internet for the rest of the evening, going shopping after work, texting endlessly on WhatsApp or Tinder etc. Aw, you know it right? This is more on the side of consuming, not producing or creating, I think.
Being creative in my spare time has helped me to become a more confident and balanced person. Right now I also realise that it helps me to solve problems better in my day job. I believe we still underestimate the implementation of creativity in our daily lives and also in our professions where creativity is a driving force for innovation. New ideas, products and solutions – where do they come from? Right, from exploring, from simply being creative. Well, you know what to do now.
Get your vitamin C. Don’t wait, start today.