I am writing a book on creativity with artist/teacher/friend, Dorsey McHugh. We want input from others to include in our book. In doing this I want to present questions each week that we have discussed in our art class. This week we talked about Authenticity. What does that word mean to you and how does it relate to your creativity? Also, know that if you answer here, you may find yourself in our book so if you don't want to be, please don't give input.
oh fun Joanne.
Hmmm....for me, it doesn't really relate to art in the sense that it is something to hang on the wall, rather it is the "art" of authentically engaging people to help them see that their walls can become doors. By doing so, people discover that awesomeness CAN be had by ALL in our lives. By being authentic, it gives me the confidence to be in my own skin, and therefore to be able to creatively brainstorm. When I was hindered with outside factors including what people would "think" of me in my earlier years, it didn't allow me to creativity help me or others.
It gives me the powerful to become more resistant to the naysayers that are happy being unhappy in order to reach the people that are yearning and WILLING to take action for positive life transformations. This is a continuos journey for to be on and grow even more so.
To me authenticity is being your true self uncotaimanaited by other influences. There are some good books on Creativity. such as "A Whack On The Side Of The Head" By Roger Von Oech "Six Thinking Hats" "Borrowing Brilliance" by David Kord Murray and there are a couple of good ones by Doug Hall. Although Doug is primarily concerned with Business applications his methods are useful for anything. I have come to understand that there is nothing really new just different connections made by an Individual. One of the grat things about Doug Hall is he talks about stimuli which helps someone to make the new connections. Perhaps Authenticity is a person's own unique way of making connections and interpreting things.
Some good input here. Wow...I must have a zillion books on creativity in my studio and I have never heard of the ones you recommend, Gary. I'll check into them. I found one recently that has the most intriguing title....made me buy it....called, "The Woman Who Spilled Words All Over Herself" by Rosemary Daniell. Haven't had a chance to get into it yet but I will. Another I got recently was Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. Really good and recommended by many writers. Jen, I love, "giving me the confidence to be in my own skin....." Awesome!
Authenticity can be a challenge as an artist. We so much want to be original, unique, and personal, and yet we are so pulled to appeal to masses in order to sell. I think there is a fine balance between the two in order to succeed personally and financially. In any art field, it can be easy to lose yourself and in essence "sell out," it takes confidence, determination, and passion to stay authentic. As a fine artist, I have met people who appreciate the work I do so much that they request a commissioned piece. This is a great compliment, but sometimes the request is filled with expectations that go outside of who I am as an artist. Perhaps the thinking is that if the artist is good at one thing, they must be able and willing to do anything. Perhaps they forget the individual behind the art and fail to realize how personal and unique it is to that person.
Thanks for your thoughts on being authentic. If anyone else wants to join in anytime in this discussion, feel free. We might use what you have to offer in our book. This week's art class was asked, "What DEFINES you?" And, "How does this relate to your art?" Now, I took this question on what defines you to the TN Prison for Women last night and spoke to over 80 ladies about this subject. I asked them how they tell THEIR story. In Wisdom Meets Passion (Dan and Jared's new book) Dan talks about two versions of his personal story and asks which would draw you to him. I also wrote two versions of my story, the victim version and the victor version. The ladies were excited about looking at their lives in this way. I challenge you to do the same. In the meantime, what DEFINES you?? Would love some feedback.
You and/or I, doing what our Creator put us on this Earth to do. That (our) unique niche in which no one else can not, nor will ever match. A contribution to society with huge positive (or negative, but we won't go there!) impact. That's what my first impression of "Authenticity" is.
And yes, Ms. Joanne, I would LOVE to be put in your and Dorsey's 100% "authentic" book! :)
My son, Austin, and I are looking forward to seeing you and the Coaching with Excellence gang next Friday! WOO-HOO!!!!!!!
Responding to this in more of a personal way as it relates directly to my business (www.lesleysobeckgallery.com), authenticity means creating my work with as much true representation of the natural world as possible without use of "enhancing" computer technology. I want someone to look at a photograph I've created and realize that this is something true of the real world that they may indeed stumble across and have the pleasure of seeing with their own eyes someday. I don't want it to be "photoshoped" to the point that someone doesn't believe it could really exist naturally.