Finding my creative direction

Creativity’s been a big part of my life. I’ve written songs and sung in bands, expressed myself through personal blogs, written poetry, and, most recently, started drawing and painting. I’d even go so far as to say I feel called (in the Christian sense) to it.

But as I’ve gotten older (I’m 46), I’ve struggled to decide which form that should take. In particular, recently, whether I should continue with painting or return to poetry, which I spent three years on.

I know that to do something well, you have to commit to it. But the question is, which thing do I commit to? A literary form that builds on my skills and years of experience as a words guy, or a visual form that I’m pretty much totally new to? The latter seems much riskier.

And yet, that’s what I’m drawn to (no pun intended).

Aside from the reasons I gave in my first post, some other things have strengthened the feeling for me:

  • I’ve met a couple of artists, one quite well known, who have inspired and encouraged me.
  • I’ve seen small but noticeable improvements in my drawing and painting.
  • I’ve had little bits of positive feedback, not least of which have been from my kids: “Daddy, you’re a really good drawer”. 🙂
  • I’ve found that drawing and painting can be a group activity with my kids, whereas writing is always solitary.
  • I’ve really enjoyed visiting galleries and museums and looking at paintings.
  • I’ve really enjoyed reading and listening to podcasts about art. The Artful Painter is my favourite at the moment.
  • I’m really enjoying the act of drawing and painting itself. I love that it gets me out of my head, and that I have something I’m (often) excited to show my family afterwards.

None of this is to say that I’m anywhere near being a good drawer or painter, or that there’s any guarantee I will be, but it does encourage me and make me think that maybe I’m on the right track.

It’s risky and counterintuitive, I know. But I’ve gotta follow what I think is that “still, small voice” inside me. I’ve gotta keep painting.

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