It's top secret, and I am not willing to share it with anyone who doesn't sign an agreement to pay me a million dollars! I'm just joking of course; in truth, it's kind of hard to describe my creative process because it is constantly changing. When I was a child I would get crayons and draw the same picture over and over again; until everything looked exactly as it did in my head. It was usually a drawing of my family with big round heads, no necks and twigs for extremities. There was a house with a door and four windows, a tree right next to it and a giant rainbow hovering over us. This was a very natural process for me and I thoroughly enjoyed being in the same space as creation, this was how I imagined my world to be.
When I was seven my parents separated and eventually divorced. This was when I turned to art for comfort because it was the one thing I knew would never leave me. The reality of divorce weighed heavy on my brothers and I and I knew my life would never be the same. Life seemed complicated and I went into survival mode. I eventually became a perfectionist trying to control every thing I created even in my art and writing. I remember writing a rough draft on yellow paper several times before I handed it in to the teacher. When she gave it back with corrections marked in red it would upset me to the point of tears at times. I would then re-write the rough draft to yellow paper again so I could transfer to my final draft without having to look at red marks. It was a pretty daunting process for a child of seven or eight years old. This way of living took over and ran my life well into my twenties. It showed up in my marriage, the rearing of my children, my work, my non social life and eventually was part of the demise of my marriage.
For ten years of my life I had totally given up on art and everything affiliated with it to be mom, wife, responsible citizen of society. Being an artist wasn't acceptable on any front. How would I take care of my family? I would "starve" because that's what I was taught. During my divorce I remembered what art did for me as a child and naturally I decided to try it again to see if it would help; it did. Art showed up for me even after I had abandoned it for so long. It became a part of my daily therapy and flowed naturally just as it did when I was seven years old. It showed up in the form of poetry, paint and sketching and I began to fall in love all over again with my first love...ART. That was nearly ten years ago.
I recently took an online quiz to evaluate scientifically what percentage of my brain is right and what percentage is left. Now I don't take this stuff literally but I do find it very entertaining. The quiz results were just as I suspected. I was a whopping 84% right brained and a measly 16% left brained. As you can see from the diagram above it's pretty colorful in the right side of the world. I used to be very analytical and had a hard time embracing my natural strengths. I was self conscious and controlling, worried that my work wasn't good enough and constantly compared it to that of other artists. Like most people, I was just trying to be the person society made me believe I needed to be.
My creative process is nowhere near that strenuous anymore. These days I actually find my inspiration through different sources. Images that I am most driven to create usually come in the form of a vision or a dream. Then there are those that I sketch based off an experience or something that I've seen physically. I no longer try to control what I create which has made the process of being an artist truly enjoyable. This doesn't mean that I don't run into any difficulties, it simply means that the natural approach makes things run a little smoother and I'm not hiding in a corner stewing over red penned corrections on my yellow rough draft. I show up to create and I trust that whatever is meant to come to fruition will.
For a cool online version of the brain quiz Click here