Exploring Creativity 1A
Hi there, welcome! My name is Sofia and I am a visual artist, a Projector, a Taurus, an introvert, and a highly sensitive person with some extrasensory abilities. I'm 43 years, love walking barefoot on the ground, and I live in Malmö. (Lol, the paradox!)
The other day, I got interviewed for a friend's blog [here] about myself and my work/life as a ceremonial handpoke tattoo artist. Talking about it reminded me of the fact that the main thing about being an artist for me is not to make pretty images, but rather the unseen. The workings of the mind, the energetics of everything, the Mystery.
The excitement about tattooing is to meet another human so that I may peek into their universe. The excitement about being an artist is to feel and explore the creative flow. I could have been a basket weaver, but I happen to be an illustrator and a tattoo artist. The form of expression is not so important for me.
Which brings us to the reason why I am starting to write this blog: I am going to write about creativity, in an attempt to make it more accessible. I feel a need to contradict the very limiting cultural narrative about creative expression. That narrative says that your creativity has to result in something perfect, something sellable, something you can make a brand out of. Therefore, people compare themselves to others relentlessly – "I don't dare to sit next to you when I draw [something], because you're gonna think it sucks" is something I've heard countless times.
The cultural narrative says that Some People Are Artists (who have no problem creating stuff, which all comes out awesome) while others are Not Artists. And if you're a Non-Artist and you feel like starting to paint or dance or play an instrument at the age of 37 or 54, it has to come out perfect, or else don't even try. What if someone would see your first paintings or first dance steps and they'd be clumsy? And what would you reply to the inevitable question of "where is this going?" as in "exactly how and when are you gonna make this into your profession, and how the hell are you going to do that, given that what you just created came out ugly??"
And on the other end of the spectrum, if you work as an artist and you feel blocked, uninspired, dry – oh my god! That must be because you're such a fake terrible artist, since all the other artists probably experience an amazing fun eternal flow. The stuff that comes out of their hands probably makes sense and looks good and felt like fun to do. So if you're instead bored, make ugly drawings and generally don't know where you're going, you should just... quit, right?
No, we should quit perfectionism and pretense. I'll take off the mask and say that I have been blocked and bored so many times, and there's still a part of me that thinks that I'm not good enough at drawing or tattooing to be a professional. I compare myself relentlessly too. But the point is really not to be perfect. Not for me, or for Picasso, or for you if you just started out. The point is that it's FUN. Which it isn't, with all those heavy cultural ideas piled on top. So that's what I'm gonna use this blog for: dismantling them.
Thanks for reading, and until next time! Wishing you a good May evening 🌔