creative writing, drawing, graphic design, spirituality

Torn between the two brains

The other day I saw a friend I haven’t seen in a long time.  Long story short, I ended up drawing a number of elements with some colored pens which look very much like they have a strong Graphic Design influence.  I like how this is going.

It started me thinking on whether I wanted to really do the design — specifically Web Design — as a career, I mean; but …well, I was thinking about this earlier today.  Not so much the design aspect of things, but the tension between what I’ve experienced as my creative side and my practical side.  I realized that, at least metaphorically, a lot of what I’m going through is tension between the two sides of my brain.  What was odd was to realize that…well, that may be more literally true than not.  Right-brain, left-brain stuff.  It could also be a big part of the reason I’ve been interested in one faith-based philosophy and one rationality-based philosophy, both seriously enough.  They speak to different sides of my brain.

I’m already familiarized with the concept of having relatively independently-acting matrices within my own neurology, but I’m moving past the time where I’d consider this anything more than just an awareness of difference (or awareness of awareness).  I’ve started reading in The Artist’s Way again, which could be part of the reason I’ve been more aware of the rational-versus-creative tension.  I haven’t started the exercises yet — I’d have to devote a significant amount of time and energy to this, time which I could use to be creative.  I also realized something significant…trust and play are key to successful creativity.

By that I mean that I believe that to be, specifically, a successful writer or a successful artist, you have to trust yourself enough to even begin.  And then you have to trust yourself enough to continue, and trust yourself enough to carry it through to the end.  You have to trust that what is coming out of you has some good in it.  Elsewhere I’ve said that the path to creativity, from my current perspective, very much seems like something — control — must be surrendered.  You have to trust yourself and just ride with it.  At least, in my experience.

When I was younger I would write as though a story were being dictated to me.  As I got older, I gradually lost my faith.  But I also learned to fear my own creativity.  I didn’t know where my stories were coming from, and this frightened me.  In this sense, it’s somewhat comforting to be reading _The Artist’s Way_, where the author explains that the key to being creative is to be able to become an open channel for creativity.  In my own experience, this is true enough.  I don’t think taking classes in it helped, actually.  It helped me develop my voice, but it also inserted rules that my creativity needed to conform to, which eventually obstructed my creative flow.

Now that I’m older, I have the knowledge that I don’t have to work exclusively within any one art or craft form.  I’ve also been feeding my creativity via relatively low-risk things like knitting and crochet and sewing.  Then we get into coloring, which gets into drawing, which gets into writing.  I’m old enough now to see that belief in a personal Deity is not necessarily a bad thing, or an impossible thing.  Studying Hinduism, paired with studying Buddhism (especially Tibetan Buddhism) has helped me very much in this regard.

I have a Deity-form that I’ve been tailing since my early college days, and although I am a bit cautious now to attribute a name and culture to my Deity, it is apparent that possibly the best way to give myself something to guide me, even in those moments when I am at a loss as to my own identity, is to live a creative life.  That is, to embrace who I am and use my gifts — live the life that has been provided for me.  Being creative could be my own form of devotion.  Something to regulate my life, and to keep me from not knowing what to do with myself.