Tuesday, June 4, 2013

355/365: Writing My Way Into Art

I called myself a writer long before I called myself an artist. Now I see that one form of communication is leading to another.

Documenting my creative acts has become just as meaningful as the acts themselves. Processing my experiences, preserving memories from my journey and sharing my learning have all been possible because of my choice to write it down. Writing has made it much more about the journey than the destination.

Among the artifacts of my creative life are the personal essays and journal entries that took my 365 project in a different direction. Looking back, there is less art than I envisioned there would be...but there is much, much more writing. I went into this project with an open mind, wanting it to evolve authentically. In my attempt to develop my artistic voice, I developed my writer's voice. I wrote myself into being a stronger writer and a more committed artist.

For a large part of the year during my project, I felt guilty for doing more writing about art than actually making art, but I realize now that my creativity grew more freely when I acknowledged that writing was both a perfect vehicle for self-discovery and a powerful form of self-expression. Writing has been my way of making sense of the creative process. It is my left brain reflecting on the things that my right brain is attempting to take on. With inner critics and muses as my characters, settings depicting both rocky terrain and gorgeous views, problems, solutions and turning points, the story of my creative journey is beginning to flesh out. It's all here in my journal and I'm so thankful that it is.

No matter what comes of my art and regardless of where my creative life takes me, let it be known, I was a writer first. Now I embrace the writer in me. Never again will I make excuses for "only" doing a journal entry instead of a piece of art. Communication is an art, as is self-discovery. All of our creative acts are valid. Expressing our deepest thoughts and feelings- in whatever form inspires us in the moment- is the highest art.

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