Perhaps you, also, feel this way often. Waking up clinging to the utopia that is in your dreams, equally (if not more) sleep-deprived than you were previously, you forcibly jump-start your system and, as soon as you really start to warm up, the sun has set and you’re left questioning, “what just happened?” Our days are overflowing with thousands of tiny, menial, and habitual efforts to expand the continuum of our lives, and most days ultimately seem to end with a lack of zest. It is in these moments, like the ones on the couch after the kids have gone to bed, we can search for satisfaction from a TV set or chocolate bar. That is me. That is you. We need a reminder.
We are CREATIVE! We HAVE done fulfilling and lasting things today! Within the space between the tiny, menial, and habitual attempts, we are succeeding in producing somethings from nothing. You might be thinking; 1) I am not a creative person, 2) You can’t get something from nothing, or 3) Prove it.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone state, “I am not a creative person.” This is said as if the person cannot or does not relate to people of the artsy or creative label. I have the same answer every time. YES, you are! You are homo sapiens! A larger brain, advanced technology, intricate belief systems, and expanding innovation are indicative of our innate creative prowess. The production of art is largely what separated our species from other hominids and hugely contributed to our survival among the fittest. You are creative, and I intend to persuade you further, once you gather the strength to believe that something can come from nothing.
As it turns out, a group of scientists from the University of Michigan have calculated that matter can be conjured from a vacuum. With the right state of mind (and the right science-y equipment like laser-zappers and what-not’s), a laser can introduce particles to the vacuum, initiating an annihilation of the antiparticles that “exist” in the vacuum and instead producing new matter/anti-matter pairs. Not only that, but in that strong laser field, these new electrons can combine to produce a number of other new particles. In the end, you have more matter than you started with (because you started with space void of matter!). Have I lost you in the theoretical physics? Stay with me.
So, you might say, “Okay, I’m homo sapiens elite and I can concoct electrons with my super-powered laser beam, but I don’t feel creative.” This is where I prove it. Below is a list of 24 art events and creative pursuits that we facilitate on an ordinary, 24-hour basis. So, with just enough courage (and a slightly rugged, deeper voice tone), you can tell yourself that you:
1. Raising children. To all the parents: this is the most innovative process that will ever occur in your life span. Kids squeeze every last drop of creative juices out of your physical, emotional, and spiritual being. The amount of creativity that goes into trying to analyze these spectacular creatures, and how to properly guide them with minimal error, is vast and diverse.
2. Making beverages. I mean, why let the baristas get all the caffeine-raving fans? Start your day by appreciating your efforts in carefully choosing the materials, the composition, and the expression (depending on your emotional or physical needs). Don’t forget about the drinks you mixed for happy hour. Those count too!
3. Cooking. Just like a musical composer, your ingredients are the instruments and the casserole is the instrumental composition. Even “Etudes” (“study” in french) are some of the most beautiful compositions created!
4. Getting dressed. Putting an outfit together is a thoughtful task. And, you might just be expressing yourself, whether its on purpose or on accident!
5. Gardening. Put a seed in the ground and ta-dah! You’ve collaborated in the creation of something aesthetic and meaningful.
6. Landscaping. Trimming the bushes, mowing the lawn, even the tasks you scorn on your Sundays are all part of your creative endeavors. Your goal is simple: make the yard look at least as good as the next one, if not more!
7. House cleaning. Think of your kitchen after a big dinner party and prior to cleaning it. It is an aesthetic mess! Imagine it now after you’ve spent all your sweat and tears. You’re proud of your beautiful masterpiece. Be just as proud of the little efforts, like cleaning up the clutter.
8. Interior decorating. You’ve chosen the colors, painted the walls, arranged the furniture, and placed stuff here and there. It’s an installation piece.
9. Folding laundry. Have you ever looked at that pile of neatly folded clothing? I mean, have you looked at it? It is almost architectural. You’ve engineered your own unique way to consolidate a large, loose piece of fabric into a brick made for stacking and withstanding.
10. Organizing. Compare this to design. You place various elements into some combination of innumerable composition possibilities in an effort to make chaos into a desirable aesthetic. That junk drawer or linen closet is now an art piece worth standing back and admiring.
11. Make-up and hair. This is actually considered an art form, but rarely do we consider the hours we spend each week toiling with our hair and face tiny efforts towards art making. All the time spent in front of the mirror before work, trying to smooth over, blemish-out, and perfect our look is time spent honing in on our creative abilities. So strut that hair-do, all you beautiful people, and let it exercise your unique style.
12. Embellishment. This is a broad category, which includes anything we do on a daily basis that adds detail and intrigue. Here are some examples of the “final touches” you embrace as an outward representation of your creative spirit: jewelry, trimmed and/or painted nails, hats and scarves, and all your other multiple accessories. Include the little details you add to your culinary creations, like the cherry on top, so to speak. Also, consider those throw pillows or coffee table trinkets you’ve placed out for all to see as an extension of your identity.
13. Family Photos and home videos. Whether you’re a snap-shot taker or avid photography enthusiasts, your family photos are heartfelt examples of your visual-literacy aptitude. Also with your home videos, you are communicating to your audience (even if it is just an older version of yourself) what is meaningful. You’ve proceeded in executing a project FULL of purpose and love, which is really the most passionate and lasting aspect of an artistic process.
14. Home improvement. If you’re a tinkerer or conducting entire over-hauls, let those projects record something about your journey. You’re telling a story about the things you use, need, and/or desire. Remodeling a kitchen is like structuring a gallery. Even fixing that toilet shares with the world that you have a careful reverence for the most mundane human artifacts. Respecting your material items, whether few or many, is an indication that you can find beauty in anything.
15. Taking notes and sending emails. This is also a form of storytelling. Much like the Australian aboriginals who have passed down centuries of applicable knowledge throughout their generations, your literary pursuits are creating a forum of discussion about your personal narrative.
16. Social networking. Communication and collaboration are two highly valued skills in every creative art field. If you’ve managed a facebook or twitter account today (just a couple examples), you’ve practiced effective giving and exchanging of ideas. Your “likes” and other clicks of the mouse, are expressions of your identity. Express cautiously and intentionally, and you can feel like a disciplined and insightful poet.
17. Conversations/Arguments. Referring to poetry, the conversations, and especially the passionately heated ones, are very much comparable to the art of spoken word. Emphasis, contrast, and rhythm (three principles of design) can be sharpened in our speech, providing us access to greater translation in the next loving argument one might encounter with a spouse. Desire art in your speech, and you may find you have more success in your relationships.
18. Pet care. Some times, as we’ve seen in the celebrity world, pets actually become accessories (such as in the Embellishment category). That may be your case, but in most other people’s circumstances, pets are an extension of identity. So, when we choose a pet based on personality, demeanor, coat color, size, and shape, we are putting to use our personal sense of design and style. Then when we take pride in them by training, bathing, feeding, and equipping them; we are revealing the innate beauty we saw in them to the rest of the world.
19. Art appreciation and criticism. We engage in art everyday. Out of all the art fields, I feel visual art is the most present on a daily basis. And each time we encounter a visual piece, we are critiquing it based on our own tastes and biases. Often, we still appreciate those visuals even though we may not be intrigued by their intrinsic worth. When you view television programs and the commercials intermittently between, your brain is firing off synapses that initiate both subconscious and conscious links, interpretations, and applications. You do the same thing analyzing the many coffee/tea mugs you own, the various cars you pass in traffic, and the diverse buildings (and their landscaping) that are along your path. Today and everyday: you are an art connoisseur and critic!
20. Making music. Not only do we sing in our showers and cars, but we make music in other ways. Have you ever really listened to the sounds you’re making when you work-out, or put away the dishes, or enjoy dinner at the family table. Enjoy those sounds, as they are quite beautiful and orchestral.
21. At work. I’ve always believed that teachers are the best actors in the world. But really, this statement applies to most careers. In general, you are an actor/actress. No matter your feelings or thoughts, at work you are required to at least act like you feel or think a specific way (usually content, cooperative, and service-oriented). If you went to work today, you deserve an academy award!
22. Planning for the future. There’s something called Conceptual Art. It is art in which its value resides in the idea. Dreaming and determining your goals are examples of high-order, critical thinking which are skills involved in producing quality art.
23. Dancing in the kitchen. There’s no denying that you dance when no one’s looking. And you totally made that up. THAT dance has never occurred in that exact same spot, in that exact same way in the history of the universe, and never will again!
24. Doodling. You know that drawing you find on the back of a receipt or on your to-do list after a phone conversation? I’ve seen million dollar artworks that aren’t nearly as interesting as that doodle!
Really, life in general is one big drama/mystery/thriller production! And, you are the star of the show! The point is: if you’ve ended up with something where before there was nothing, then you’ve created! And, you shall be called “creative”!
If YOU have any suggestions of acts we do on a daily basis that are are quite artful, please leave them in the comments below!