My twin nieces are 6 and my oldest niece is 9. They have lived overseas all of their lives, and I am delighting in having them close to home for the last few weeks. Their Uncle Keith and I went out to splurge and buy them some new toys, and currently they are completely consumed with art. They have been for a number of years. In fact, I had my dad make me a wooden chest to hold all of my treasures, including countless colored pictures, watercolors, and art made with their little hands.
As children, long before the reality of the world and its cruelty affects us, we create art and eagerly share it with those we love. We looked to them for approval, delight and affirmation.
Today as adults we bring what we create and display it on social media. In many ways, we are the small children bringing the creative work of our hands to those we care about and asking for approval with their “likes”.
For those of us who grew up in a supportive and loving family, our confidence may be higher than those who weren’t so fortunate. In the same manner, posting our images and bringing it to the world for their “approval” can be disheartening if we see little engagement or interaction.
Throughout my own journey in nature photography, the feedback from my peers was deeply important to me. I then moved into a space where I submitted the art I created to competitions, to be judged by a panel of co-creators for their approval or disapproval.
Somewhere along the way, I began to photograph for their approval and recognition, and in doing so pieces of my heart were lost, as was my art.
Digging deeper into the place of innocence as children who created for the enjoyment of creation, and to bless those we love with the work of our hands is soul filling. Creating for the enjoyment of others are the things the Garden Of Eden was made of, and has overtones of Who we were created in the image of.
Creating for the sake of creativity, and returning to the rivers that flow from our heart to our fingertips, we will find our inspiration, our creativity fueled and our curiosity to expand our art restored.
Today’s challenge for you is to find a small group of people who deeply love and value you and share what you create with them. Never expecting anything in return and giving what is birthed from your heart will breathe new life back into the essence of your creativity.