Today, I was trying to describe what it is that drives some of us to create to a person who does not have that and doesn’t understand it. That was interesting and a lot more difficult in person than I thought it would be. It is one thing to write about it or to put some thoughts on a 3×5 card about it, but another entirely discussing it with a live person who doesn’t get it at all. Strangely, about halfway through our interaction, I realized that she thought some people take to it because of finding something they’re good at – as if it is a skill set, a craft or something like music which a person approaches, likes and starts doing. That would be skills and yes, it is certainly something that can awaken the drive to create, but it isn’t the drive to create.
All this came about because I’m taking a quickie class from the City of New York called NYC Craft Entrepreneurship sponsored by Etsy, NYC, Workforce 1 and Citi. It has five classes and the one on Thursday this week was about Brand and Marketing, however briefly that can be covered in two hours. However, one of the questions in the workbook was to answer – Why do you create? And that is a hard question to answer, for me. It made for a really nice pretty answer finally made on a 3×5 card, which to be honest, in person – was worthless with someone who doesn’t understand it. We certainly both agree, there are people who are driven to create in something, anything – just to create. And then there are those who don’t, who don’t have any desire to do that, aren’t driven to do it and frankly, don’t understand why.
Maybe I can’t explain it, which was my first answer to the worksheet. But, I can see it. Something about being alive today, doing something with it beyond experiencing the landscape of this moment, something about the magic and beauty and expansiveness of it while creating is being done and something more too that I can’t describe. It isn’t enough to say the I create because the dance of it awakens me, sparks something incredible within me that feels part of a much greater world, or that once I’m in the act of creating, nothing else matters – not money, not whether it will ever sell, not whether it is good or not and not whether anyone will ever like it or not.
That doesn’t explain why it drives me to do it, to explore it, to try again, to discover more to create with, to try creating in a different medium, in a different venue or in a different way. It doesn’t explain why it is exciting to do it when I’m doing it and how frustrating, interesting, good, joyous and not tedious, but intense and focused it is all at the same time. And, it doesn’t explain how expansiveness happens beyond the now and the place I’m in and the physical reality where I’m living and beyond even the time in which I live when creating starts and throughout its unfolding through my hands and mind and knowledge and skills and thoughts and thoughts of others and all of it combining into something new and different and interesting.
Maybe there aren’t words for it.
Innovating, inventing, making, creating, solving, building, designing, and what I used to call “arting” because I believe it should be a verb – are all the same thing in a way and in some people, like me – there is no good reason for not doing it. There is little that I understand of people who don’t create, don’t want to create, find no reason to create, don’t want to make things, don’t want to invent or be artistic or create music or write or anything – I don’t get it. To explain to anyone like that, why I do those things and naturally want to do those things, maybe the words simply will never cross that bridge to explain it.
Here is what I wrote on my 3×5 cards last night –
Why do I create?
I genuinely don’t know why. It is like this wondrous dance that happens and each time I don’t know if it will work or not. Starting somewhere, anywhere with a thing, a design, an idea, a surface, a problem, a group of pieces of designs – will it work? Will anything new, different, interesting, inventive, innovative, creative, dramatic, useful, decorative, wild, or even, ugly come from it? Will anything happen at all? And, then it suddenly, inexplicably joins into new thoughts, new ideas, new iterations – playfully, interesting and fun as that dance unfolds. I like it and I love what it produces and what it creates doing it then I want to do it again, never knowing if it will work.
Unfortunately, in person with the lady today who doesn’t understand what drives people who create, those thoughts from my card fell on the “no help explaining it” side of the spectrum. It wasn’t that it conveys it improperly. It was more like, there is an element missing from the explanation that I’m assuming someone else would know and yet, they would only know it if they are driven to create as well. Creating is a freedom that is indescribably real occurring right now. It isn’t bound by the rules of mankind, the physical limitations of the moment, the financial limitations or rules of the moment, nor by the limitations others might want to subject me to within my day. Creating surpasses all of those things, won’t be confined by them, can’t be ultimately oppressed by those things as many other endeavors can be. It is the utmost expansive application of freedom and experience of it that exists. And, I do not say that lightly.
I don’t know how to say any other words for it. I’ll find them, though.