Why we lose touch with creativity

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I have struggled a lot with the fear of losing my creativity. It is a predicament that comes with making a living from selling products that come from a creative process. Creativity came in waves and many times left me for long periods.

I have gained an understanding that creativity is the inner conversation that responds and reflects the world I see. Creativity is the world’s imprint on me and my hope is that I  express it in ways that have not been expressed before. The topic my creativity chooses is not a conscious choice by me but is chosen by my subconscious and brought to my awareness. It is a little voice that is curious and feels in visual, auditory, sensual and sensory insights. It connects with the world and is seemingly inseparable. The subject is chosen by my own subconscious or if it comes in from the world around me, this is where creativity can lead me to a sense of oneness. The world is in me and I am the world. Whether the topic is chosen by the world or chosen by my subconscious is a silly question. The artist tends to look for ownership in an idea that is grown on his personal brilliance. There is no creativity in total isolation, in isolation I nearly deal with memory that I process from when I was connected to the world.

Therefore there is no original thought like an invention or an idea that is perfectly mine and separate from the world. There is no thought that springs from me in isolation and is completely new and owned by me. But there is creative response that is present and very current to what is happening. If there is creativity in isolation, it is merely playing with memory that comes from a time we spent in connection.

True creativity is never stagnant but moves and shapes itself anew all the time. It has no one shape. When I try to keep it focused in one way or one direction, I become numb to it. When I try to always paint red pictures because I loved the poppy-field in the summer I will be looking for that experience and miss the creative expression of the beauty when I walk past the ocean. The same happens when I try to create expression of joy and close myself off from sadness.

If I have closed myself to the world, I cannot possibly be in touch with creativity.

I have seen it with many creative professionals that when they focus on their success, they use what they call “references”. References are works of other artists that supposedly act as inspiration. What actually happens is they take the idea from another or from earlier in their career and replicate it, as they have became numb to creativity inside themselves.

These days I rarely experience the numbness. My creativity has become a voice that is more than just a producer of images as a photographer, but creativity is a part of me that helps me find expression in various forms. I nurture it and I care for it. I try to expect less but offer more.

What I keep learning is that shame is a manifestation of fear that likes to suppress expression of creativity, because it is so vulnerable und uncomfortable. Therefore I am making it a practice to write and express and dare to be with this discomfort.

moritz kerkmannComment