Everybody has gifts.
Some of our gifts get more external validation, and therefore develop more naturally. Gifts to do with the ability to make a sale, plan a project, or generate enthusiasm around an initiative or brand will generally find plenty of outlet and affirmation in a variety of fields of work.
But not all gifts shine as easily in everyday life. This is especially true with gifts to do with the arts. And yet so many of us have some kind of artistic streak. Maybe you write, or paint, or dance. Maybe you play an instrument, or write songs, or create paper maché sculptures. Whatever it is, there is value in nurturing that gift.
I believe we are hard-wired to create. There is something in all of us that want to see things grow – that wants to make stronger and more beautiful; to nurture and build; to cultivate and design and invent.
It’s not about how perfect the end product is. There is room in life for our own artistic development – not everything needs to be ready to be served up to the public.
In fact I’ve always loved the quote from ‘Art and Fear’ that
The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars.
Pursuing and nurturing our creative gifts is good for our hearts. It creates joy. I believe it’s also good for our communities – it somehow implicitly gives permission for there to be messiness and imperfection and failure on the way to beauty.
There is wonder and value in the the practice, the process and the pleasurable – not just the productive.
Creativity helps us remember that.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut,
To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.