Prep time: nil to infinity
Execution time: nil to infinity
Serves: one to many
- An idea. An inspiration. A need for self expression. – It might be a small spark, or a quart, it doesn’t matter.
I find that personal experiences work best for me. I draw my inspiration from events that occurred to me, feelings that overcame me. Or, equally, I might be inspired about things that I desperately want but can’t have / haven’t had. Works both ways. The key is desire, I think. I desire to rid myself from a thought or feeling, a desire to purge an event from my mind, a desire to express my ideas or wishes.
- A decision about how to make it happen. – At least one, but it may change over time.
There are numerous ways in which a seemingly simple thing, such as happiness, can be expressed. Sometimes, I would take a picture of a book I just bought. Or I would send a quote to someone. I might smile at a stranger on the bus. Or I would crochet a little flower. I could write a paragraph or two, or just a line in my journal. I may listen to my favourite song and sing at the top of my lungs, jerking around in an imitation of dancing.
If I am in pain, I might do the same, but for different reasons. The book I buy would be a distraction or a pick-me-up, the quote would be expressing myself in a way that my limited vocabulary might struggle with, the crochet hook might serve to distract me from lighting up a cigarette, and my youtube playlist might be broody.
But that’s okay. Self expression is important. Be it something positive or negative that’s overflowing me, if it needs to come out, I better purge it.
The options are endless, really, and this is why it’s so important to chose an outlet that best suits my needs.
- Honesty. – As much as possible.
I perceive creativity as a sort of self inflicted bleeding. Honesty is the key, without which the whole thing crumbles. It might be cleansing, it might be destructive, it might be painful, it might be cathartic. But it has to be honest and it has to be authentic.
- Courage. – A bucketful.
Yes it might get messy. Yes it might be painful. Yes it may leave you open, gaping, vulnerable, exposed.
But if there is one thing I have realised about creative expression, it’s not just an attempt of preserving or making explicit a fleeting experience. It’s a conscious step towards self exploration, trying to figure yourself out. And if that’s not the whole point of why we are here, then I don’t know what is.
It is quite simple. Once you have the ingredients, it’s just a question of mix and match. Be bold, be brave, be ready to mess up. It might take a few attempts, but I personally like the first, raw results the best.
The only way this recipe can fail is if you don’t try it.