I learn a lot about myself through art. In my class yesterday we talked about being authentic. “What does authentic mean to you?” and “How does that relate to your art?” We each wrote our response on paper so as not to influence the answer someone else might give. It was a great exercise!
Now art takes on many forms. You certainly don’t have to have a paint brush in your hand in order to be creative. One of my teachers,Dorsey McHugh and I are writing a book together on creativity. We contend that virtually everyone has a creative side….hey, we all have a right brain, don’t we? Some of us just tap into that side more than others. Some have more right brain dominance than others and some probably think their right side shriveled up and died in about second grade! But in reality, we are all creative in some way. Dan once told a group of inmates that their creativity probably is what landed them in prison, so they needed to learn better ways to express themselves!
So how does the word authentic affect your life? This morning I was walking with my friend, Shaloma…..talking about this word. She asked me if I thought I was a different person from what I used to be because I said I feel I have worked hard in the last year to become more of a flower! I am blossoming. I am not a different person. I am just a better person. More authentic than I have ever been in my life. I have done a lot of introspection, reading, writing, growing in the last two years. I have become more of the unique woman God made me to be. No pretenses….just very real. And very happy with where I am.
So I ask you….what role does authenticity play in your life? Is it time to tap into that part of you long hidden or less honest? Is it time to take the accumulation of your years of experience and become the person you really want to be?
Here are some responses to the questions posed in class yesterday. Very thought provoking:
“ Art without authenticity is only a picture. Real art is more. It is alive.” (Dorsey)
“True to self- the real core. In my art, authenticity lets go of all pretenses and expectations- instead of laying out a final goal, I create from my heart- my art grows as I develop myself in the art I’m creating – what results in the end is art that is truly from within, not based on a specific agenda. My art is authentic because it is an outward expression of what is within my heart.” (Ashley)
“Authentic means being real – honest – coming from my heart – no pretense or trying to impress, just simply me being me. Authentic art is allowing my heart to pour out upon my canvas – to paint what my heart knows, feels, and desires.” (Deby)
“Genuine. Honest. (Unadulterated, unmasked, unguarded). How does this reflect in my art? How does it reflect to my heart? My heart is authentic already. The word reminds me to remain grounded and present, so that I live always and express truth.” (Melanie)
“Authentic is what is true and real to me. This concept shows up in the colors I use, but most especially in the subjects I choose to paint.” (Cheryl)
“Being true to your inner self – Not who you think people expect you to be. So…paint to make yourself happy.” (Lesa)
“A blend of skill, ability, personality and passion. All these things should be expressed and obvious.” (Dan)
“Revealing my true self without any reservations or preconceived ideas of what others expect. Revealing my genuine self in art means I'm innocently creating and allowing genuine ideas to flow through me. To create authentically, is to create without considering what it should look like and to allow each piece to develop and grow, almost maturing as it becomes its own genuine self.” (Susan)
Dorsey writes: “How can we infuse this authentic life into everything we do; into our conversations, our days, our art? We must turn our backs on the fear of making a mistake or feeling rejected. We must give up our concern for what someone else may think. We need to jump into these deep waters, with our whole heart.”
Are you living an authentic life? Is your right brain screaming to be let loose to complete your most authentic YOU? If so, I encourage you to take an art class, hone your writing skills, take a decorating class or a design class or something that taps into your more carefree, imaginative self and enjoy being a child again……or a flower!