The Freedom to Create

The Freedom to Create

As we celebrate Independence Day here in the United States this weekend, I’ve been thinking about the freedom to create [art] and the pursuit of our “artistic voice”.

I have at times doubted myself as an artist because I lacked consistency in my style. I have spent much time studying the work of other artists, gleaning whatever insight and knowledge I could find. My work was some version of the person who’s work I was studying. And although I was the one putting paint to canvas, was the work really “original”? Was it MY voice? I read a book this week that helps me see the answer to that question is “yes!”

“Real Artists Don’t Starve” by Jeff Goins talks about Jim Henson and all the many influences in his life that lead to the creation of the Muppets. When we first saw the Muppets we thought we’d never seen anything quite like it! Or had we? When we consider Jim Henson’s early influences being television and the famous puppeteer Burr Tillstrom of “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”, we can see how he borrowed ideas from a variety of sources and re-assembled them into a different package. Something unique, but familiar.

I love this quote from the book, “The way you establish your authority in a certain field is by mastering the techniques of those who are already authorities. And what eventually emerges over time is your technique.”

Finally, remember that nobody can make your mark on this world but you. Stand on the work of those who have gone before you and make your mark. The world needs your “mark”!

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