What Is Creating?

Christine Alfery

Posted on July 05 2021

What Is Creating?

 Featured image: Sunflower Study II

What is creating?

It is work – all creating is work.

Where does creating come from?

Feelings? Or from the ability to see through one’s own eyes and to think for oneself?

What does and artist choose to create? Or why is the words "to create" linked to the idea and the concept of what an artist is?

I believe that there is a sacred fire which burns within an artist. I don’t believe it comes from an artist’s feelings. I do not believe it comes from out in space and lands specifically on an artist. I don't believe that the artist is a special person who makes it be seen and that this thing only happens to artists.

Rather, I believe creating is work and the sacred fire is the fire of an artist – a creating wanting to know the truth, and to question.

So I ask, "How can one think that creating is relative and subjective to feelings?" I find that extremely impossible. It would mean that there is no value and no meaning in what I create.

Creating begins with an abstract thing which in reality has no identity. This thing is real. That is why it has been agreed upon that it exists. This thing can be a combination of real things. This 'combination' is a different way of seeing and thinking about real things. This real thing requires thinking about it and seeing it.

The artist takes the real thing from reality and creates a concept about the remix of abstractions and identifies it. Identifying it gives it a label, new or old – and combines it with other concepts, abstractions and identifies and forms the possibility of a proposition.

I know, I know that is a lot to think about. But, my main point is – you have to think to be creative and if you are an artist who creates then you have to think. It isn’t about feelings that come from nowhere. It is about reality and its combinations. Then, you put these combinations out there. For a visual artist, it is a painting, or a sculpture. For a musical artist, it is a different song.

This sort of spirit, courage, and love for the truth is the identification part of this whole equation. It's the identification that everyone agrees upon because It's based within that which is real. It's been identified through a set of reasons, which are objective. For example, a table is a table, a rock is a rock, a painting is a painting etc. (Side note here – just because it is a painting doesn’t make it art). This sort of spirit and courage takes discipline. It takes effort and tension in your thinking, in you mind. It doesn’t come from nowhere. It is an unrelenting strain on the power that comes from a thinking mind that creates a work of art.

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