It’s easy to think of “art” and “creativity” as existing in the realm of ideas. In the hothouse of our heart ideas percolate to the surface and stream into our consciousness. Hot wholesome home brew bubbling up from the creative engine that God placed within His children.
It is here, when the idea-coffee is hot and fresh, that the rubber meets the road.
Will I-ACT-ON my idea or leave it to languish in the hazy world of possibility? Will it be nothing more than fragrant steam?
Art, to become Art, must become action. I like to think of action as Act-I-On.
Get this way down in your thinking.
A book becomes a BOOK when it is read, not when it is written.
A picture becomes a PICTURE when it is viewed, not when it is painted.
It is the consumption of the creation that fulfils its purpose.
Don’t misunderstand me. There’s a place for ‘art-for-arts-sake’. The sanctuary of personal creative expression is sacred and so essential. But there must at some level be a point where the riches of our heart are shared with the world.
We have to open the possibility for people to meet with our ideas, and the only way to do that is to create. To take the idea and act upon it. Ideas without implementation are powerless.
It is also true that acting on ideas is scary. It triggers our insecurities to think of others nit-picking our genius and laying their judgement to our babies. Once our precious brain-child is out in the wild it becomes free game for the critics.
But it also becomes potential for growth. For liberation. For transformation. That screaming, kicking little flower of a notion may well grow up to change the world.
The computer I am writing on right now was once no more than an idea. From the printing press to the iPhone, progress has been made as men and women have chosen to step out and believe in possibilities.
Crystallised into actions that produced something of value.
Only words on a page can reach that unknown reader somewhere in the world you’d never dream of visiting. Only songs sung and recorded, uploaded and ready to stream can flood the ears and hearts of those who need to hear them.
As long as your hard drive, sketchbook or brain is the final resting place for your babies they will never have the opportunity to thrive and grow into the life-giver they are destined to become.
How many unsung songs now rest in the grave? Untold numbers of pictures and poems buried for eternity?
ART = ACT ON
I must put myself at the very centre, where I’m vulnerable and exposed, if my ART is ever to find it’s fire. The creative life is not one you can delegate to someone else. Yes, enrol all the help you need to transform your genius into genesis. But don’t think that you won’t have to put yourself and your thoughts on the line time and time again to break into a place of creative freedom.
Another action-killer is the fallacy that an audience must exist before we open wide our bag and scatter the seeds of our creativity.
Without creative content to be found, there is nothing for an audience to discover, even if they were looking.
The more valuable, personal, powerful content you put out the more an audience will find you and what you have to offer.
I enjoy several translations of the Bible, and one that has piqued my interest is the Passion translation. As with many modern translations, The Passion Translation cannot really be considered authoritative, but the different perspective it offers can awaken fresh appreciation of the many-faceted wisdom of God.
Proverbs 12:5 is rendered:
“The lovers of God are filled with good ideas…”
Face it. You are full to overflowing!
You don’t need to wait for inspiration, He already lives in you!
Act on what He has planted. Accept and act on what He has placed.
Create first. Then let others consume what you make should they choose to.
Idea’s acted on are the chicken to the egg. God made a chicken and then the eggs were laid. He inspires thoughts and ideas. They gestate, and you then put your skills and expertise to work to birth them so uncle Harold and Aunty Gemima can hold them in their hands.
Way too many artists are perpetually pregnant. Idea after idea goes unrealized. Is it any wonder that many creatives are depressed and discouraged? More artists suffer the malaise of never-making than they do the pain of their art not being noticed.
Making is in many ways its own reward. It is unhealthy and unnatural not to create. Inaction is the greatest danger to the health of a creative soul. When we act come hell-or-high-water and just plain put ourselves out there a flow begins that draws new ideas up from the depths.
If we act on enough of them something will finally land.
Other souls who think and feel the same, who crave what you have to say or to sing, will hear your song and sing along with you.
You have no power over who’ll come, but you can send the invitation. And in order to send an invitation, you must have something to invite them to.
Your ideas-acted-on are the only thing that others can eat and be sustained by. Until they are baked into something that people can consume the earth remains a poorer place.
DO something with your IDEAS today. Art is Action.