Matisse says, “Creativity takes courage” and so she did it. It was a nice Sunday evening and it was nearing dinner time. We had just finished the “unfinished 1 min video” from yesterday. My wife’s creativity work was flowing. I could sense that because even the small drops of water dripping from the tap was disturbing her. Artists need solitude, period. She was “in a state of flow ” like how athletes experience an “in the zone” sense of heightened fulfillment. It was time for me to get away from the room and put myself up with the kids.
Just to prove my kitchen art, I decided to make dosas for the kids. It was again a draw of artists. I put batter in the hot pan, with little brush strokes of oil. It was one of those magic moments when three things confirmed my deft touch with kitchen art: The shape of the dosa was circular (I’ve made amoeba shapes and continents shapes in the past) , the way I could take out the dosa from pan to plate without pieces peeling off was another moment of awe (in the past I had to stitch the pieces later at the dining table) and finally as Degas said , “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” My art work was ready to be seen and tasted. My kids liked it and ate it and they were happy (unlike in the past when my daughter would come and tell me “Shall I make it”?). I too accomplished a sense of achievement of meaningful work, as I was basking in the Kitchen zone.
In the past few days I had the opportunity to see works of art and creations of many TILT team members and my friends. Anita who was instrumental in supporting the 1 min video. Just with a simple draft she came up with a 30 sec animated graphics design with music that was amazing. Turning to Prathima who shared on WA images of her Terrarium creations and how she is enjoying the same. My wife shared the work of Malathi’s new painting, Sujata’s passion with singing and voiceover and Utsa shared her new found artistic play with glass paintings. We also have Venkat with his brilliant pencil sketches. Archie, Ashwini, Mukesh, Sam, Sourish and Saikat are avid bloggers. I have also come across more artists like Vishnu who have written 15 poems so far, Peter who is learning guitar and salsa. Finally, conversation is an art and I am learning from Kavitha who plays a very important role with her networking. There are many more artists in TILT, whom I am yet to discover. They all are artists as they have taken their passion to the core and did something with it. So, I wondered what drives these people?
I was curious and started checking “Is art work limited to a few” or “Can everyone become an artist.” While “researching” (googling) on this topic I came across a speech by Ms Jessica Wachter (TED talk). She confesses, “I am not good with articulation but I am sincere with my authenticity.”
That made me realise the importance of the Risks = Success equation which I hold as the centre of my universe. Being an artist is to become raw, getting yourself out of your comfort zone and putting your vulnerability to the test.
We are all born artists but somewhere during our education or profession we lose the artistic mind. We forget to believe in us. We lose it because we fear.
I was wondering whether I have lost and found it recently. Maybe writing and speaking is what I have found. In my view the artist is “anyone who has the courage to come to the canvas of life and expose his or her gifts.”
Coming back to my story about the “artist” at home, my wife was ready with her One Page Story and it was time for the final touches. I could see in her the joy of her life, just like the way my kids see an amazon packet and the kind of excitement they get while they unpack and gets to see their most favored purchase they made instantly (book mostly). She was passing from one room to the other swaying herself, literally floating in air with the clear achievement of a winner. She held herself just short of punching in the air. In neurochemical terms it was the chemical dopamine. It made me realise about the state of flow when the creative skills and outcomes are matched. They sense meaning in their work they have accomplished. Such was her state that she wanted to get our feedback. Like any budding artist, I said “Just put it out.” She posted the “One Page Story” and was very happy.
So how do we define artists?
Artists can be seen through their enthusiasm and excitement and that is contagious. My wife was navigating very nicely with us with her creative piece and even though she had written several posts, I felt she was exposing this gift for the first time. All the people who had shared their creative arts have exposed their master pieces. My wife and other artists covered here are finding their “childlike” passion, augmenting it with action of putting it out and finally touching people’s lives with their stories, paintings, animations, terrariums. The world will embrace artists as long as they break free from their fears.
In my interactions with a lot of people, I have noticed that public speaking & communication is an area where a lot of people need a lot of support to overcome their fear. That is why it is rated very high on the list of most feared things to do in life.
“Fear is not about doing something, fear is realizing (like a compass) that the risks are high and accepting that it is worth it and going in that direction.” To me artists are not the ones born with great skills, they are the ones who find that internal compass (Passion) and go exactly in the opposition direction of fear (action). You can become an artist if you remove one option from your mind that “You will not succeed.” Stop listening to the haters.
A horse whisperer is one who possesses the special skill of taming wild horses by just whispering to them. A jackass whisperer is someone who possesses the special skill of dealing with haters. Don’t be a jackass whisperer!