For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to the Arts . . .
My early life consisted of drawing characters I had seen in Walt Disney films, comic books and movies. I didn't create my own characters very often but reproduced well known characters, usually much larger than their source. I derived a great sense of life, pleasure and joy in doing this. It took an incredible amount of focus and discipline to be still long enough to churn out these drawings- two things that are still a challenge for me to enact as often as I'd like. Still, the payoff outweighed the challenge and although these drawings came into existence for no other reason than to provide creative expression at the time I drew them, it was enough. I've only recently unearthed these drawings for my children to see . . (the top three were drawn when I was 13, the other around 14/15).
Around the same time I found music . . or music found me. It was a form of art that gave an even stronger voice to my own feelings and thoughts as a pre-teen / teen. My earliest memory of watching a music video was as a young boy around the age of 9 or 10. I vividly remember Dire Straits' boxy animated video for their song 'Money for Nothing' being shown on MTV and I was transfixed.
"This is why we need artists, because they express the inexpressible. They express for us a lot of times what we can't express for ourselves." - Rick Elias
My first real interest in music began in the rap and hip hop arena with artists like RUN DMC (my fav at the time), DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (aka Will Smith) and The Fat Boys. I'd love to give a special mention to the song 'Walk This Way' which was a collaborative effort between Aerosmith and RUN DMC. I trace some of my strongest musical tastes to its early fusion of rap and rock. A classic, albeit lyrically deficient. ;-)
All of these (and other) artistic expressions captured my heart in my formative years, compelling me to express more, and explore further, this human experience of journeying down life's path. More than that, these works of art (mine or others) act as mile markers on that journey, helping me recall other related memories, feelings and sometimes even smells, that constituted my world as a young boy. Many of those experiences were painful and many were pleasant, but the memories which these works of art carry bring back those distant experiences like a familiar landscape emerging from thick fog.
Art, and specifically the beauty it conveys, reaches us at a depth of our souls that is incomprehensible. That beauty (whether visual, physical, intellectual, etc.) often bypasses our mental blockades ('watchful dragons' as C.S. Lewis said) and goes straight for the heart. Once our heart is warmed, we are won. Since my earlier years there have been countless other works of art of various media which have captured my heart, my mind, and my imagination. I have been challenged by them, inspired by them, moved by them and even, in some cases, changed by them.
Now more than ever, as I approach 40, my desire to create and curate beauty, truth and goodness through art grows by the day. I'm making steps (actions) that both facilitate creativity and the creation of works which, I hope, will one day cause another searching soul to be found by the Author of Life itself.
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
What works of Art have inspired you - caused you to see life differently than before you became aware of it?
If you're called to be a 'Creative', what does your first step toward your next creative work look like?
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