For me, revealing and relating with my own creative drive has been like unraveling a complex celtic knot woven in the wrong colors compared to what one has in mind. There is a lot of shame and doubt intertwined in the creative process, because it was placed there, purposely, by the people who raised me. There is the sense of having committed some sort of sin against some suspiciously human God; there is the fear that it is all just some waste of time, that one’s sandcastles may be destroyed by somebody else at any moment; there is also the feeling of orchestrating something that is actually beyond my control. It’s like plunging one’s hands into a river of magic, and pulling out sparkling diamonds from your own psyche. But once people know you’ve got diamonds, guess what? Some people will want your diamonds.
We live in a world where one can do their best and still fail to succeed, while they observe those who seem to succeed unfailingly. And there are all kinds of explanations as to why this happens, yet it happens and it continues to happen. We don’t keep repeating the same mistakes for the same reasons. Every time the cycle repeats, there is a new reason, even if it is similar to the one before it. Fingerprints and snowflakes all look the same from a distance, but in getting close to them we know that they are each unique, utterly so. Success and failures are utterly unique as well, yet these things are far more personal to our sensitive psyches than fingerprints and snowflakes. We may have no hand in the way fingerprints form or in the shapes that snowflakes configure themselves, but we do have a hand in our own patterns of failures and successes. We can call them as we see them, we can call them as they are, or we can endow them with our own meaning - but our patterns are ours.
My own patterns of success and failure are deeply tied to my creativity. A successful harvesting of diamonds from my mind may ultimately turn out a failure when those diamonds are stolen or abused. Patterns like this are what help people’s creativity shut down the fastest. “What can I do?” then gives way to “Why bother?”, which sometimes results in “I’m unworthy of success, so failure is my life.” But things don’t really have to be this way, do they? There are much better answers to the question of ‘why bother’:
Bother because you are far more worthy of success than anybody knows. Do it because it pleases you and you enjoy it. Think that way because you can, because you have that right. Say those words because you mean them, not because they’re correct. Bother with the trouble of keeping other people’s shackles off of you, because you need to fly and you cannot when you are chained to such burden. You are meant to soar.
So, “Why bother?”. Because you can do so much more than you believe you can. Well, “What can I do?”. That’s your job to find out. Things will bother you until you do. Find the patterns that work for you and repeat them, often, and with many iterations. Be creative with your life. Those diamonds are safe inside your mind - dig them up as you need them, and be careful with them as you handle them. Know that you have an unlimited supply of psychic diamonds, so don’t be so sad when they appear to become lost or stolen.
Repeating a pattern infinitely is a lot of work. It gets very monotonous after a while, albeit more normal the longer it is repeated, and so the work seems to become easier. Diamonds have a repeating pattern in their core - so do viruses. The building blocks of a repetitive pattern are crafted to repeat, gracefully or not, potentially forever. The most graceful patterns are to be found in Nature, the ultimate ruler of patterns.
When I avoid making art, I avoid the pain that I tend to feel while I’m making art. The pain that says, “Remember how difficult and grueling it is to make a decent living as an artist? Remember that successful career as a doctor or a lawyer that your biological parents always wanted you to pursue? Remember how easy it was for them to criticize and destroy your artwork? Remember how many people are out there just waiting to tear your artwork to shreds? Remember…?”
No, these are not things I want to remember, because they’re not worth remembering. I’m a different person now than I used to be - my artwork is different these days, my reasons for making artwork are stronger than ever. So where is this pain coming from? - My mind, remembering disencouragement that other people taught me about art as I grew up.
I know that there are people out there that would love the glimpse of heaven inside my mind crystallized into a piece of art that they can place within their homes. I don’t want to disappoint them! So I make art, happily.