“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine.”- From the Imitation Game movie.
I just watched the Imitation Game movie, based on a true story of a remarkable man, Alan Turing, who cracked the Nazi code and helped end WW2. He was a math genius and yet struggled with acceptance in the world of people. It is such a touching movie, and it was heart breaking to me too. In the movie, Alan Turing is portrayed as an amazing genius and hero who probably helped end WW2 by 2 years early and saved countless lives. Yet he is feeling the weight of being ostracized for his homosexual lifestyle, and a sad childhood to boot.
Creative people are so often on the outskirts of society, in a way. We don’t fit into a mold. Our social friends might think we are “stand-offish”, when in fact we might really be just shy at heart, and yet trying to overcome that image.
Sometimes I think that living in this adult world of ours tends to kill our imaginations. When we were children, we were often free to jump into our picture books and dream. And imagine and make our drawings and if we were lucky, our parents encouraged us to make things out of any kinds of materials we had at hand. Or we read our books and fell in love with the stories that took us to far away places.
We don’t always say the right things in a party, and afterwards, think we might have made a mistake. Yet, get us talking about our art, and our process, then we can bend a person’s ear for a good half hour or more. Then we come back to just making our art, on our own. There may be safe feelings in solitude, but there is also a feeling of isolation.
There is the push and pull, the struggle with how to make our best work, and then try to explain it to the public, or the art director of a company, or to an agent who wants to sell our work, and so it goes. Showing our art work feels like baring our souls. We learn to get a thick skin to criticism, and yet try not to become jaded. There is so much more to making art than most people might know. And then we don’t want to get discouraged, so we just keep going…
Part of me wants to return to that “kindergarten” mindset of just making art and not worrying about what others will think or say about it. Maybe we should just allow ourselves to think that way as we are working, and then put on our adult selves after the creating is done and the push and pull begins.
Oh! At the risk of rambling on about things we creatives know on the inside, yet wish we could better understand… maybe let’s just let this subject percolate for a short time, as it is late and I have paintings to finish for an art show…. Holy Cow! Oh wait, “no more freaking out!” I made that my motto a few years ago, but it tries to re-surface now and then!
-Good thoughts going out there for you creative people. Keep on going. And we have each other.