Gratitude and Creativity: A Small Backpedal

I have to make a small backpedal from an earlier post where I expressed upset about spending time online looking at other people’s creative work instead of creating my own. What I didn’t acknowledge in the post is I do that sometimes because my body and my brain can’t cope or process any other information when I’m feeling pain. I also do it because I’m trying to learn new things, new ways of expressing myself creatively, since I don’t currently have the freedom to go out and explore the world on my own terms.

The proof that I’m learning – even when I don’t immediately open my journal and grab my pencils, coloured pencils, coloured markers, or paints – is that each time I create something new I’m incorporating a technique that piqued my interest enough for me to learn it and show it off. Surprisingly, sometimes looking through the work of others helps to resurface pleasant memories from when I learned, and used to do, similar things when I was young. I loved art classes, but stopped taking them when I got to high school because I had to focus on subjects deemed more serious. Looking through the work of others is reconnecting me to my creative self and it feels good.

This morning, as if to affirm that these thoughts and feelings are true, I found a video online that has one simple message from artist Nina Paley that “all creative work builds on what came before”. It put a smile on my face and it’s exactly what I needed to bring light to this grey stormy day.


Nina Paley – All Creative Work Is Derivative


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