How to Unlock Your Inner Picasso (Without Lifting a Brush)
I remember going to the Louvre in Paris about 15 years ago. It was surreal and magical all at once. I kept pinching myself to make sure A) I wasn’t dreaming and B) I was allowed to be in there. I didn’t feel worthy or something. I’m certain I looked like a total Parisian poser of sorts in all black and a bad beret. I probably had a pack of Parliaments in my purse just for kicks.
Museums always stir up deep things inside me. Sure, the beauty and story behind every work of art opens up a whole new dimension waiting to be explored. Yet, perhaps the most moving layer of it all is the one behind the canvas; it’s the heartbeat of the artist I sense still speaking and desperate to be heard. It’s broken, tortured at times, misunderstood, and full of impossible dreams and starry ideas.
There’s a world of vibrant story inside every masterpiece. The journey from each curious conception to its prestigious display has been a glorious and hellish one all at once. I suppose that makes every museum a universe of telling-tales—of palpable possibility.
To be clear, I totally suck as a visual artist. I distinctly remember taking art class in elementary school and being highly aware of how inadequate I felt compared to classmates who seemed to draw perfect, concentric circles straight out of the womb. They also had pretty handwriting and non-frizzy hair. Go figure.
As I have absolutely nothing to offer you in the way of painting stuff, I do have something you may deem worth trying on for size or at least reading. It’s less of a how-to and more of a concept I’ve been marinating in lately. I’m the middle man here to pass it along.
I believe the reason we are stirred by anything at all be it a painting, a song, a Tedtalk, a book, or nature is that it strikes a chord within us. It speaks to truth we’ve already got living inside, just waiting to speak—to bloom.
The reason I weep when I stand in front of Van Gogh’s “Irises” or Picasso’s “Women” is not because I particularly love irises or am drawn to Picasso’s color palette. I weep because I know a similar gravity of longing for self-expression and beauty that makes no sense and simply won’t be silenced. I must give it skin or voice or breath.
Artists and laborers are similar in that they both use their hands, their skills, and the tools necessary to complete a project. However, an artist is vastly different than a laborer in that she creates with the entire language of her being: heart, mind, body, and soul. The laborer wants to finish the job. The artist is the job. She is fully present, wildly courageous, and draws from a deep well of emotional connection.
So what the heck does this have to do with you and me?
It has everything to do with you and me.
For starters, it’s a roadmap telling us the way we should go. Those things that move and stir you do so because like attracts like. They speak truth that resonates with insight and awareness planted deep within your heart. To creatively thrive (and yes, you ARE creative), you must be willing to listen to the cacophony of your emotions, the voice of your heart.
If that sounds tough or esoteric, bear with me. Really, all you are doing is responding to the uniqueness and beauty that’s inside you. Sure, it’s often messy, uncertain, and highly imperfect and yet, no work of art was ever born out of perfectionism. Rather, the courage to listen…and simply respond.
That being said, we have this incredible invitation to bring the totality of our being into the smallest, most mundane aspects of life.
Artists must be awake to inspiration, wonder, and beauty in order to fuel the path they’ve chosen. Guess what? You and I must as well.
The story of you is a masterpiece still being written. You get to write the next page. What will you create out of the depth of your desires?
I’ll leave you with two questions:
What moves you and speaks to you lately?
How will you wake up and respond to that creative call to courage?
Love & Gratitude,
P.S. Of course, I want to hear your answers! Let’s keep this conversation going…