Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Your voice is the most powerful tool you possess. Nobody exists or expresses like you. Your word, born from the perspective of your existence, will be the force of your craft. You can't create shit from the voice of someone else. Errrr...you can, but it will suck, and fall short of resonating with anyone in a real way.
Even if you're a visual artist rather than an author or poet, the lyricism of your singular and specific narrative will define you- in ink, on paper, in paint, and form.. Your voice will unleash itself through any medium you imbue.
The most appealing thing about you is that nobody has ever experienced the order of things exactly the way you have. Your ability to sing out loud what makes you atomically and emotionally unique is essential; both to your expression of self and to your personal success. You can't tone down for any audience-real or perceived. That's poison. That diminishes your calling. We simply aren't capable of creating great things with the objective of being appreciated by everyone who witnesses.
I'm going to say something that your ego may not like; especially if you consider yourself an artist of any "success." We are all creative creatures. Existence and survival are endeavors of creative problem solving and personal expression. I'm not buying into the concept of 'you have it or you don't' anymore. What it takes for my art to be good or worthwhile is for me to be honest and pure in creating it. What it takes for someone else to be touched by it, is often a sense of synchronicity or relatability. Finding recognition of themselves or their story within mine. Feeling that universal pulse of connectivity that awakens the core of our ancestral belonging. We don't need everyone to love our voice or what we have to "say" though. What we need to do is focus on this equation:
Curiosity > Creativity > Connection
Ultimately, creativity is any expression of our innate curiosity, and it requires nothing else to be of relevance. If we withdraw the need for a finished or flawless product in order to prove our creative ability, we can focus instead on those building blocks of wonder and awe. We can fashion an investigative approach towards existence in which creation and art are natural byproducts of our sublime intrigue towards existence.
Creativity isn't a mythical enterprise. It's our birthright as living, breathing beings. Our voice is one of the few things we are born into this world with and actually get to leave with at the end. What gets in the way of executing from this truth is over-consciousness. On the other hand, what stimulates excitement and assuredness towards our craft is aggressive authenticity.
Glorious opportunities to create and shine our light don't come knocking at the door, desperately seeking Susan. It's your responsibility, and also your joy, to pursue what enlivens you. There are great, opening questions to meditate on if you're uncomfortable with the fact that you are an undeniably creative creature. What do you feel strongly about? What's your guilty pleasure? What makes you laugh? How do you solve problems? What could you talk animatedly about for fifteen minutes or longer with no preparation?
The things that stir us and the things we love tell us who we are. It's not just what we experience or where we travel, or what accolades we receive, but rather what we are divinely drawn to that shapes our voice. Thus, what we are curious about becomes a spotlight we shine on what we create, which allows us to connect with people who actually really fuck with the same things we fuck with.
Tuning our instrument of creative capacity can be a really fun and enjoyable task. You don't need to embody the stigma of the tortured, starving artist to be a creative. Explore what you're curious about-literally anything and everything you are curious about. Focus on the absolutely random but also accessible things that rouse a sense of spectacle and novelty in your heart.
Consider the etymology of the word novelty. It comes from the 14th century French word novel, which meant "the quality of being new or innovative." By the beginning of the 20th century though, it had come to reflect something different in Modern English-where it often referred to a "useless but amusing object." i.e. novelty shops, which sell random and niche goods.
From innovative to amusing; not all art requires creating something life-altering, mind-bending, or even original. The things we love and the way we live bleed into everything we produce. Our voice is a montage of infinite influences, and because of this, it's utterly irreproducible and incomparable.