I was recently walking through the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, admiring the work of celebrated impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot. After a few minutes of roaming through the exhibition, I caught myself doing what I usually do at art museums.
Not only do I admire masterpieces from afar to get the big picture on what the artist was trying to convey, but I often zoom in very closely to observe the intricacy of the brush work that was needed to achieve that vision.
In doing so, I often come away feeling inspired, thinking to myself that maybe I should get back into painting to try my hand at that technique.
Similarly, when my camera shutter captures a really amazing picture, some of it is technical knowledge and some of it is luck. I often think that if I had the free time to play with all of the settings, to better master the principles of photography, maybe luck would be less of a factor.
The same thing happens when I’ve surprised myself with something I’ve produced in the kitchen. I say to myself that if I just spent a little more time practicing the technical skills, I could get even better at it.
There is no disputing that I have the soul of an artist and that inspiration comes pretty easily. The question is whether there are enough hours in the day to explore all of the art forms which interest me.
With maybe 50 to 60 years ahead of me, could I ever do it all?
Despite all of these glimmers of inspiration in other creative disciplines, I realize that writing is what I’ve always wanted to do and what I was meant to do. If it wasn’t my destiny, why would career #1 have provided the opportunity to do so much corporate writing and editing that I can write user manuals and briefing notes in my sleep? I am convinced that the Universe offered me the opportunity to sharpen my reflexes for writing to this extent with a greater purpose in mind.
With an accumulation of personal notes, index cards, journals and USB keys filled with ideas and outlines, I will be spending many retirement years working to convert them into stories. To accomplish that, writing will be at the forefront of my creative pursuits. And frankly, I am delighted with that prospect.
I’m not saying that I couldn’t go back to the painting, the photography, the baking or other creative avenues when I need a break from writing, but could I ever get as much practice in another discipline as I have in writing?
If it took me 40 years of practice to develop a knack for writing, could I ever be good enough at another creative discipline to produce results worthy of sharing with the world?
It is only recently that I realized that maybe deep down, I aspire to become a multi-disciplinary artist. It is a wonderful conclusion to reach, but it creates a bit of a dilemma… which creative discipline to follow when so many of them appeal to me?
The fact that art and creativity is in my DNA, with teachers, musicians, crafters and visual artists throughout my family tree, I can’t help feeling so incredibly lucky to have the passion and the drive to be so indisputably convinced about my creative calling.
Should I have lived a more artful life to feed my appetite for creativity? Maybe, but I don’t regret any of the choices I have made, the path in life that I followed, or the varied interests I have pursued over the years. They all provided the means and the time to audition different art forms, to practice, and to get to this point.
If actors can sing, if singers can paint and if painters can write, why couldn’t someone excel in more than one creative discipline? Art does not have to be mutually exclusive.
If an artist is asking the question about the possibility of pursuing more than one discipline, then it’s likely that the interest and the drive are both there, which is half the battle isn’t it?
And whether my pursuit of another creative discipline will ever be good enough to share with the world, I don’t think it really matters. I feel it is just about fulfilling the need to create, whatever form it takes.
Just like any other artist may feel from time to time, there is a little bit of fear and self-doubt. But I think the key is to pursue it from a fearless place where I chalk it all up to learning and experience, and to do it out of love for the creative discipline, not with the goal of seeking validation or approval.
If pursuing more than one creative outlet fills my heart and soul with enthusiasm, passion and great energy, then I think it is more than worth the effort to explore it.
Which one?… Does it really matter?
I believe the answer will find me.
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Have a great day,