Saturday, October 2, 2010

How to Tap into Your Creative Genius

What put you on the path of creating?  Once upon a time you created something of significance.  It might have been a drawing, painting, a photo or jewelry.   And it was good.  And then you did another and another. You liked what you created and so did your loved ones.  And you went on creating.  Then one day you created something awesome.  It was really a step above all the rest.  You thought "this is great, all my hard work, I've arrived!".  But then, you get overconfident and the very next thing you do...it's a dud, right.    You assume they'll all be as good from now on.   And you try something totally different, and it bombs. Auuugh!
Bear with me....


Have you ever listened to Elizabeth Gilbert's TED speech?  She's the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" and she talks about the origin of the word Genius.  It stems from Roman myth which once meant "a guiding spirit who attends a person from birth to death", and this spirit or Genius would either show up while you created or  not.  So if you did create something a step above all else, it was because your Genius decided to show up and help you out.  

Now, my husband watched this with me and said, "she's a loon, that one".  Ok, but this is what I got out of her speech.

Copy your Genius. 

Take that special creation...the one that stands out above the others ...the one the Genius decided to show up for and keep it as direct reference, while you create another.  Use it again with a twist.  I have one painting sitting next me while I paint another.  I pick that painting because of something particular that might be useful for what I'm working on at the time.  It's never the same.  For my charcoal study on Kelly, I had a framed charcoal study sitting next to me that I did sometime ago as I drew her.  I copy linework and shading.  I try to copy everything except the subject.  This way it brings it up to the level it needs to be.  

I painted the beach girls while I had the old man on the easel

Loved the stripes so much, used them again
A little cleaner, but the same colors
Perhaps there will be the day when my "Genius" will show up again, but until that time happens, I'm going to keep one eye on the one he smiled on,  while I create the next.  Look for your Genius.  Guaranteed he's amongst your work waiting to be noticed. 


11 comments:

sonyamacdesigns said...

Thanks for shareN this Another Awesome Answer!

Carola Bartz said...

On Elizabeth Gilbert I'm with your husband (sorry... but I really don't get what the buzz is about this woman). However, the genius idea is quite comprehensible. Whatever the case, I know that that spirit is with you (even though you think it's on vacation sometime)!

jacqueline said...

Dearest Diana, thanks so much for sharing this inspiring post. And i am also a huge fan of Elizabeh gilbert. :) Have a loely merry happy weekend and love to you!

Kat said...

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing this idea. When we start from something we love and keep carrying it forward, good things happen. I liked to see how you do it for yourself!

Robin Norgren said...

Diane, this is such INCREDIBLE advice. I actually have doen this a couple of times and have wondered why it has worked; I actually almost FELT GUILTY for doing it thinking a true creative starts from scratch EVERY TIME. Thanks for the validation.

Valerie Weller said...

Oh such a lovely post Diana! I love how you illustrated this concept by showing us how you work. Your pieces are lovely and I can sooo relate to the ups and the downs of that creative process. Always looking for that genius to show up. :D

Kelly Berkey said...

diana, you post gave me chills! i haven't started this week's sketch and i'm terrified i won't be able to do it as well as last weeks...ahhhhhhh, so i will have her there, looking over me and reminding me what it was that i did that time. the eye of an artist! wish me luck!

Billie Crain said...

I've never heard of this woman but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and who knows(?)...maybe there's something to this genius 'thing'. I've struggled with certain techniques in the past, then one day (almost like magic)something clicks and I can do it! Happy accident or something else? ummm......

Msartist said...

Thanks for sharing this. I love Elizabeth Gilbert~ I will definitely have to try this technique~
I loved how you did your paintings~
Have a wonderful week. ~Theresa

Marie Fox said...

Hi Diana,

Thank for your wonderful comment. I do appreciate hearing this about my new direction in figure painting. And I'm glad to discover your delicious art. Really I do feel this way. Your color combinations and the luscious way you apply paint, especially in these two paintings, really please my eye.

Keep up your fine work! Marie

Suzanne said...

I don't know that I have confidence enough to say I have genius working with me. Let's just say -- I have enthusiasm. That's gotten me a long way so far. Thanks for the inspiration.