Self is the core of who we are.
It is an infinitely deep well of renewal, connection and creation. My creative process is the search for and exploration of my infinite Self, to know and be present to my Self. In knowing my Self I know how I am different from all others and how I am the same as all others. I am extraordinary and ordinary. Connecting the two is the creative process. It is expressiveness going extraordinary. I want my students to find their extraordinary expressiveness.
To truly open to one’s Self the artist should resist judgments and categorizations, be curious, be moving, shift perspective, boldly go where they have never been before. We are held by gravity, which allows us, equally, to fall and to fly, just as a bird pushed from its nest takes flight from its falling.
In building an educational art studio that harbors and encourages the creative process, I strive to give the young artist-students protection and armor from the judgments of others, positive and negative, benign and aggressive. I am realistic about the futility of suppressing such powerful human traits, but I am convinced of the necessity of struggling toward that safety, while at the same time flirting with the danger of being wrong and failing. Necessary and inherent in the creative process is failure and, simultaneously, the faith that I am, in reality, worthy and, ultimately, safe.
How do I teach the creative process? I don’t. Being creative is inherent to humans. It does not need to be taught. I get out of the way. I protect the space. I give them time. I display faith. I patiently wait for them to do what is inevitable: be creative. Persistently and very gently I prod their creative process along.
I provide resources and media. When asked, I teach techniques. I remain curious about what the students are experiencing and what they are doing. I encourage them to doggedly go where their curiosity and excitement takes them. If they get joy from the process they will play long and hard at it. Their technical abilities will naturally grow and mature. They will work through the blocks and “failures.” The failures cease to be “failures.” The “failures” become information opening up directions, resources, and possibilities hidden by the students’ habits, assumptions, tendencies, reactions and finite vision. The creative process is a portal to the universe of infinite possibilities.