Updated: May 8
When I was young, everyone told me I was an artist, that it was a special thing and I should pursue the arts. I loved art, it was a secret place I could go to escape the world and create my own. But deep down I never believed in being separate from others. I believed everyone was an artist. When I would tell people this, they would always protest - “No, no, not me. I’m NOT an artist.” The pushback was strong and defiant. Along the way I stopped suggesting this, but I have never stopped believing it.
I went on to dance in and outside of the art world. I attended art school, became a muralist in Philadelphia, taught art and worked as the Director of Community Art Programs in Camden, NJ where I created programs for healing arts in hospitals, homeless shelters, schools and community centers. Camden at one point was one of the most dangerous cities in America, but boy was I proud of our little but mighty art programs! I saw people from all walks of life surrender to the healing experience of creating and revel in the joy.
After years of observing the world, I have come to understand what I always felt in my bones. Every one of us is an artist, but the protesting comes from the narrow definition we have of what an artist is. In the dictionary, an artist is someone who creates sculptures, paintings or music with imagination and intention. But art isn’t limited to these things. Life is art. I’ve seen humans walk with such confidence as if they are floating on air, make their bed with such creative expression, prepare a meal that is a work of art or just being around them feels expansive and uplifting. Artistry is a way of being.
I hope one day we can start redefining what an artist is, and start to own our creative magnificence. We all come with a curious spirit and an open mind. Overtime, many of us are taught to leave such silliness behind or narrow our focus on doing only what “we are good at”. Even I have fallen into the conditioning of the world at times, that creating art was wasting time and I should be doing more.
But creating beauty is NEVER a waste of time, it is actually CREATING time.
When you create, you go outside of time. You are in a flow state of the ever present moment. Nothing can touch you. And in my belief when you are in the experience of being creative, you are literally changing the formation of the field of the universe.
Let me explain…
Say you have a thought that you want to have some lovely, warm soup. The thought of soup is already vivid in your mind. You may start to salivate, imagining the soft carrots and celery melting in your mouth. You can taste the garlic and nourishing broth. The thought of experiencing the delicious soup activates your body to engage and before you know it you are at the stove, stirring a bubbling pot.
Everything is energy. When you have a thought, that tiny splice of consciousness is vibrating at a certain frequency. If you allow that thought to expand, it may become a physical thing in the world. This is the power you hold.
You are more powerful than you know. You are more powerful than you have been taught. Creating anything from humming a melody on your way to work, to a magnificent meal, to a making a drawing with your child, to showing an act of kindness to a stranger is an act of amazing power. You are strumming those chords of the universal guitar. Each pluck of the string affects the next. Do not be fooled. You, my friend, are an artist.