Art, Creativity & Being Methodical
I never thought I was methodical. I never really believed I was someone who could organise ideas, make plans and strategies, or execute them. I thought I was a more airy fairy creative type.
I’ve always believed we are all creative in some way. We all have and use imagination, we all bring something new into the world, and ultimately, we all tell stories with our lives. It’s good to imagine new possibilities and ideas and make them into a reality.
Now I see there is a difference between a creative and an artist.
An artist is someone who creates because they have to. It’s in their bones. It’s coursing through their veins. They create not to achieve any goal, or serve any purpose - although these do come into play - but they ultimately create for the purpose of creating. And when I say art in this context, I’m not talking about ‘the’ art of anything - because lots of things are ‘an’ art.
What I’m talking about is art for arts sake.
I write because I love writing. If I didn’t share my writing, I would write it anyway. In that sense, I am an artist.
But my mind is far more methodical. I plan. I strategise. I think in ideas and I organise them in my mind. When I plan something I always come up with lists. I try to solve problems, problems in people’s lives, helping people to live better stories, to discover their identity, to open people’s eyes to an idea or insight I’ve had.
My art always has a purpose. And yes, I need to be creative in that process, and engage my imagination. I need to tell stories well and invite people into those stories, to see what I learned, and some how create a work which will connect them with those ideas.
In terms of aesthetics, I’ve definitely a minimalist. I love Apple technology and Apple stores simply because they are so minimalist, simple, artistic, creative. They look good, and they even feel good.
I want my art to be like that.
To use imagination. To be simple. To begin with the why, not the what. I want my creative work to look and feel good, to make people feel part of something which is creative, innovative, simple and uncluttered. I’ve always loved that feeling I get in an Apple store and it comes from this simplicity, the artistic feel to their products and stores.
But I am a methodical person. I have ideas, I organise them in my mind and make them into processes. I gain insights into life, into identity, personal growth, spirituality, the power of words and stories. And I try to organise them and communicate them with others through my writing.
However, I don’t want my ideas to be communicated clinically and in a business-like way, as some writers do. I want to somehow share my insights methodically, but creatively. To invite people into a story and then invite them to apply these lessons to their own story. And to point people to values, to ideas and yes, even strategies which can help them practically live out these concepts in their own lives. Ask them questions, and leave them thinking.
I don’t want to just begin with a what. I want to begin with a why. And that means beginning with a story, with a metaphor. To share an experience of my own life which demonstrates this principle. Ultimately, to share the story of how I discovered this concept, and along the way invite people into this story. Then to share the lessons I’ve learned and invite them into these lessons too.
I can be methodical about how I structure my blog posts or books, I can plan them methodically, and even in writing them creatively I can be methodical in one sense. But in writing them I want to be innovative, creative, imaginative and invite people into a story. It’s stories which connect us with something. It’s a good story which draws us to an idea. It’s a story we resonate with which will connect us to a piece of writing, art or a film.
So I’m a creative person. But I create with a purpose. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t be imaginative, creative and innovative. Ultimately, the best way I can share my ideas is through telling a story. And even though it involves being methodical - which I’m good at - I can still engage my creative side, I can still tell a story. In fact, that’s probably the best way to share my work, and to do what I really want to do - help others grow and discover their true identity and calling.
Finally, I can use this methodical gifting in every area of my life. I can make plans in my finances, my work, my overall writing plan, plans for individual books, and blog strategies, and how all those intertwine in relation to my life overall. To come up with a mission statement which can focus it all and tie it together.
In fact, I might even enjoy making these plans. It’s weird, I never figured I enjoyed doing that kind of thing, but actually, I do. And I do it all the time in my mind too, almost by habit.
Yet I’ve never realised it. Wow. Talk about writing helping you discover something about yourself.
I love it when that happens. God is good.