Last week, I had the pleasure of doing a three part Q&A with Margarita Tartakovsky on her PscyhCentral blog, Weightless. On a monthly basis, Margarita and other bloggers participate in a Self-Discovery series where one blogger hosts and chooses a word to write about for that month. Margarita choose Creativity and then asked if I’d participate by writing a blog post about it. Her timing was perfect, as I have been auditioning words to be a finalist for my word for the year and CREATE is on the short list after someone brought it up as a possibility the other day. In her invitation to be a part of the Self-Discovery Series this month, Margarita posed several questions (check ’em out in case you want to participate, too). The one that spoke to me was:
Do you think creativity has anything to do with body image?
In a word, okay two, heck yeah.
Several years ago, I taught an interdisciplinary college course that I just adored creating and teaching, “Exploring the Creative Process.” In the class, we explored the creative process in everything from art to business. Students had to immerse themselves in creative experiences- doing projects like False Fatigue where they had to push through and do 50 works of art in whatever form they wanted and keep going when they hit fatigue to see that great stuff could still come after. We read a book a week on creativity, watched films, debated what’s creative and not. It was so satisfying and inspiring.
During that time, I came across this quote: Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. Pablo Picasso
And I so agree. But painting is not the only creative diary out there. I can take Picasso’s quote and substitute so many words for the word painting. Poetry. Writing Song Lyrics. Quilting. Writing a melody. Sculpting. Photography. Collage. You get the picture (pun intended?!).
Immersing ourselves in a creative pursuit is an invitation to a better understanding of ourselves because what we are doing is thoughtfully expressing our conscious or subconscious. And when we go inside, when we consider what we think and feel, when we are receptive to that which is inside of us which sometimes we can only access through a creative medium, we further our self-knowledge. And furthering our self-knowledge is an essential step in improving our body image and self-image.
But we can create not just in the more traditional ways. We can create a business, a life, possiblity and find answers for ourselves, find the self-knowledge and clarity that is so essential in building a positive body image and self-image in unconventional creativity.
Because, just as Picasso said, “I am my sketchbook,” our soul can be expressed in a meal, a dress we sew, a yard we landscape, a labrynith we build, a non-profit we form, a child we raise.
Consider this: I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. Etty Hillesum
and this: Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life. Adele Brookman
In the end, the essential in the quest to self is this:
Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen. Robert Bresson
The form of your discovery, the method of the journey, is yours to create.