This chart is a perpetually ongoing work in progress that hangs on the door in my teaching studio in north Boulder.
I’ve named all the primary forms of creativity I can think of on it - like visual, verbal, performance, etc - plus, in the pie-chart sections, a few of the more obvious ways we explore them. For instance, the category of Verbal art-making takes forms like writing and singing.
Being a work in progress, the chart is not entirely linear in where and how things are described. Which seems as it should be, given the subject. I often feel like I’ve left out something important, though, something I can never seem to catch. This ongoing teaser almost keeps me up at night.
This mask was painted by a man at a mini Burning Man festival in the wilds of New Mexico. He made this mask of himself to wear during a ritual we were going to do. Was he more interested in the meaning of what he was making, or in its being beautiful?
After writing that paragraph, I created a post about meaning and beauty. It was ok, and about how focusing on meaning-making over trying to create beauty is likely to satisfy us more, plus more authentically communicate who we are and where we’re at to others. But then I got struck by another layer of this issue that I want to share with you here.
It’s about the price we have to pay if the ways we express our creativity are to go further into being actually punchy. Think vital, challenging, boat-rocking.
The price of admission is making art - and being creative in our lives - in ways that are ed...
We’re currently creating pass-along journals in the Crossing into Creativity program. Participants exchange journals at each meeting, add to it or otherwise change it, then pass it on at our next gathering.
The journal I got last week had $2 pinned into it, with a note: “Ok, could you do yourself a favor? Take these two dollars and spend them on something your soul wants but which your secretary will not allow. Report back.”
I imagined buying some special $2 bead at Nomad. But in a thrift store the next day - shopping for clothes for another current program project - a young woman nearby started talking to no one in particular about a little evening bag covered in shiny pink plastic scales. Then she put it back on the rack with a sigh, saying “Well, maybe one day…”
Without thinking I went over and asked her if she’d buy it if she could afford it. She said...