Jen YihComment

Are you an artist?

Jen YihComment
Are you an artist?

Artist, con-artist, escape-artist, everyone is an artist. 

I understood art for the very first time this year. Before, I thought I understood it but I didn't. I was walking through the Contemporary Art Museum in Sydney, Australia. In the past, I used to seek out pieces of art that I liked. You know, the one's that used pretty colors or my favorite flower or something edgy, maybe that I thought I was supposed to like. Classic faux-sophisticate bullshit. 

Turns out, an art museum can be an incredibly satisfying experience. Who knew? Every single piece of art is an unspoken conversation that an artist is having with you, even when they are not there. Their creation is a projection of their reality, dreams, thoughts, emotions - the intangibles - and somehow, through clay, metal, paint, pencil, they are decoding all of those stardust type things into something tangible, giving you a thought-provoking experience. Magic.

From a young age, many of us are told by tests or teachers that we are or are not creative. It’s something encouraged as a child, but as our youth begins to fade so does our creative confidence.

In comes the single-track life, more tests to categorize us as if a number knows us better than we know ourselves. More applications, to impress others and pitch them our self-worth. Money, salaries, and the things we own defining where we stand on some imaginary social scale. 

What is creativity? Where do we find it? How can we define it? 

It’s as if the creative types are enlightened unicorns with unattainable amounts of ideas floating about in an ever-evolving artist sphere. A permanent acid trip filled with revelation and answers. True, but also not true.  

Creativity is you. It’s everyone and everything. Creativity is always in movement, from the birth and death of something as simple as an idea. 

Creativity isn’t about perfectionism or mastery of a particular craft, it is about tuning in to hear the acute sounds of you, your environment, and its connectedness. To begin looking at the details only to realize that they make up a whole, a much larger whole depending on how far you allow your mind to go. 

Creativity needs you and your individual expression to come to life. To express what? To express all the things that language or laughter or anger cannot say, to breakthrough beyond our standard forms of communication and tell us a much larger, more meaningful message. 

That expression alone takes the intangible to tangible, through song, dance, art, words, food, numbers, or simply how you walk, talk, eat - expression is living proof, before our very eyes, that your soul has a signature.  

So, do not let anyone tell you that you are not creative. The only person holding you back from telling us and yourself what you have to say is you. We’re waiting.