by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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Let me begin with this thought…we are ALL artists.  You may not paint or draw, but are you an artist of another kind?  Do you build things, write code that produces something, are you a landscaper?  Anyone in any walk of life can take an artistic approach to what it is they spend their time doing.  In the athletic world, I can think of no greater example of an artist at work that Roger Federer.  If you are not familiar with him, please watch this quick compilation video of him in action.

In a world saturated with routine and predictability, it’s essential to find avenues that allow us to explore our creative depths. As human beings, we possess an innate ability to innovate, imagine, and bring forth unique expressions of our inner selves. Engaging in the artistic journey is not just about producing a masterpiece but rather embracing the transformative power of creativity.  With that, let’s embark on a brief exploration of self-discovery and unleashing the boundless potential that lies within us all.

The Canvas of Imagination:

Just as a painter begins with a blank canvas, we, too, start with a clean slate—an empty space brimming with possibilities. With each stroke of a brush, the artist brings to life a vision that was once confined to the depths of their imagination. For Roger Federer, it was walking out onto the stadium tennis court and warming up in front of the crowd.  His artistic endeavor was about to begin; it just so happened that his took place in front of millions of fans around the world.  Similarly, when we dare to dream and allow our minds to wander, we unlock the door to our creative realm. It is within this realm that we discover our authentic selves and tap into a wellspring of ideas waiting to be transformed into reality.  In a scene in A River Runs Through It which is one of my favorite movies of all time, there is a segment where Paul, one of the sons played by Brad Pitt, breaks free of his father’s strict training and rigid approach to casting, and “broke into a rhythm all his own”.  This is exactly what I am talking about…being an artist of another kind.  My question to you is this:  What is your canvas?

Embracing the Unknown:

Creativity resides in the realm of uncertainty, where risks are taken and boundaries are challenged. It demands that we step outside our comfort zones and embrace the unknown. Like an adventurer traversing uncharted territory, we must be willing to stumble, learn, and grow. It is through this journey of trial and error that we refine our skills, develop our unique style, and push the boundaries of our creativity.  As I write this, I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop and deep in the usual routine I use when writing.  But, I am on a creative journey each time I do this, and I am never quite sure where it will end up.  I enjoy the ride, allowing the creativity to flow, no judgment or predetermined goal.  I embrace the unknown destination by enjoying the ride and seeing where it leads me, not the other way around.

The Dance of Inspiration:

Inspiration is the heartbeat of the creative process—a magical force that ignites the spark within. It can be found in the simplest of moments: a vibrant sunset, the laughter of a child, or the rhythm of a captivating melody. Inspiration whispers in our ears, urging us to capture its essence and translate it into our chosen medium.  I have a notes app that I capture ideas in for blogs, talks and more.  I know that I cannot rely on myself to remember all of these ideas the next time I sit down to write, so I capture them on the fly and save them for later use.  It can be a TikTok video, a movie, or just something someone says that sparks an idea.  I routinely take one sentence and write a twelve hundred word blog out of it.  Whether it’s through words, music, paint, or dance, the dance of inspiration breathes life into our creations, infusing them with a piece of our soul.  Run with it…don’t fight the process.  Even if you have never attempted to write a poem before, and all of the sudden you are moved to do so, do it.  Don’t waste that creative spark; don’t judge it and don’t put it off until too much later.  Pounce on the opportunity to open that doorway in your mind.

Navigating the Labyrinth of Doubt:

It is common, to the point of being expected, to doubt your abilities and you motivation for a creative endeavor.  No one starts out doing something a a high level for the first time.  In most cases, it takes years of struggle to become reasonably proficient at something, let alone great at it.  I don’t think I am a great writer, but I can guarantee you I am better writer than I was a year ago and am WAY better than ten years ago.  It is part of the process, but you cannot let the doubt and judgment creep in and short circuit the process.  It is precisely in these moments of self-doubt that we must persevere. Like a ship navigating stormy waters, we must weather the doubts and fears that threaten to capsize our creative spirit. Remember, every masterwork begins with imperfect strokes, and it is through persistent effort that we refine our craft and cultivate our artistic voice.

Collaboration and Community:

For me, the artistic journey can be a solitary one, I do not have anyone proofread my work, nor do I work for a media outlet that I contribute my ideas to as part of an overall offering.  This started out as a digital diary and mind-clearing tool, and it just so happened that when I would share with people that I got good enough feedback that I started to share more often.  I want to help people, so if my brain purgings can assist someone else, all the better.   For some people, it can be a path that thrives in the presence of collaboration and community. Connecting with fellow artists, sharing ideas, and receiving constructive feedback can breathe new life into our creations. The support and encouragement of like-minded individuals can invigorate our spirits, inspire fresh perspectives, and propel our creative endeavors to new heights.  Ultimately you need to understand the path your own and put in the best environment possible to let this gift inside of your mind out into the world.

Conclusion:

Embracing the artistic journey is a transformative experience that stretches the limits of our imagination and allows us to connect with our authentic selves. It is a dance between the known and the unknown, fueled by inspiration and tempered by self-doubt. As we navigate the labyrinth of our creative endeavors, let us remember that the true essence lies not in the end result, but in the process itself. So, dear reader, let us embark on this wondrous expedition of self-discovery and unleash our boundless creativity upon the world.

As always, I wish you luck with your endeavors…

 

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