Carolee S. Clark
Newsletter July 2013

Be Creative
"Teacher's Haul" painting by Carolee Clark
© Carolee Clark, "Teacher's Haul" 10" x 10", acrylic

I often have people asking me if I teach.  I don’t.  But I always thought that if I did it would more in the lines of opening up the creative self rather than instructing the “how to’s.”

My work is not traditional, it does not appeal to the masses and that doesn't bother me.  I paint what makes me happy and if I find it uninteresting, I change it ... skew it, pattern it or otherwise play with it. 

So many people think that they are not creative.  Putting the fact that I disagree with this premise wholeheartedly aside, I want to explore the notion of “What stops us from being creative? 

-      Fear,
-      We have forgotten how to play,
-      North American attitude that we need to be productive and earn money.
 
Fear
 
We are all creative beings, we are born creative.  As we grow, we begin to judge our own work and the work of others and we begin to fear that we are not as competent or as good as the next person.
 
If we have had some success we fear that we will not be able to replicate that success.  If we can replicate that success, then we fear to deviate from what has brought us that recognition.
 
Play
 
The North American culture teaches us that we have to be productive.  Personally, my parents steered us into electives and education that would focus on how to become earners, provide for ourselves and then our families. 

We lose the ability to play, for the enjoyment of play itself.  We become uncomfortable with the idea itself.  Even our recreation is always multipurpose.  We don’t just hike for the joy, but also because it will keep us fit.  We watch others play … television, sports, our children.  We no longer sing unless we are trained to do so, we listen to singers.  We no longer pretend, we watch television.  We no longer paint or draw, but go to demos watching the professionals paint.
 
We are so afraid to look or sound like we don’t know what we are doing.

We want others to tell us how to do it, train us, and make us good at it so that we won’t look foolish.
 
In this kind of atmosphere, how can we possibly listen to our creative self and try something new or challenging?
 
Make Money
 
If we do create a product, it is immediately assumed that you need to sell it.  Why are you creating something if it isn’t going to go to the market?
 
As soon as you state that you are an artist to someone, they want to know if you are making any money. As a writer … “are you published”, as a painter, “where do you sell?”
 
Be Creative

Be fearless (no one has to see unless you show it)
Play
Don’t worry if it sells!



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