Recently I was asked, why did I choose to write my first book on the topic of creativity?
The short answer is: I was compelled to tell my story. I felt it was time to show what it is like to live a creative life, to show what it is like to think like an artist, and to not feel fettered or bound to any medium or technique.
I wanted to show how a mind develops through the practice of art, to demonstrate how the view of the world becomes bigger with a creative mind, and to show how art makes bridges that connect ideas, emotions, and people.
Were there any books out there that did this? No. Are there any now? No.
It is my assertion that the best artists learn to use both sides of their brains in a balanced fashion. The crazy ideas that wake an artist up at night come from the uninhibited right-brain. In order to make that concept into art, the artist has to use the discipline and skills from her left-brain. It doesn’t matter what medium the artist chooses, the path to creation works the same way. This is, of course overly simplified for the purposes of understanding. Yet, most artists agree with me, that they feel that the practice of art engages the whole brain.
When I wrote my book, it seemed that no one had ever asked a visual artist what it is like to be truly creative. Why do they create? Certainly not to help their employer or their team, although that may happen once they have already developed their creativity.
Parallel Mind is one of the few books that talks about “pure creativity,” which I define in the book as below:
“Pure creativity is an activity that has no predefined destination or purpose, while applied creativity is an activity that always has a goal or application in mind. Pure creativity can be seen as a kind of play, while applied creativity is usually seen as work.
“Examples of pure creativity include (but are not limited to): a painter who paints from his heart, a musician who creates a symphony while toying at the piano, a writer who bases a screenplay on the people she knows at work, a scientist who discovers a new law of the universe by playing with raw materials and outlandish ideas. “
“Pure creativity” is divine play, a ready entrance to the greater sense of connection with the central energy of the universe. Many people find this feeling through meditation. The practice of art (meaning any purely creative work) is one of the active ways to experience the same thing. Our society, dominated by the values of the left-brain, only permits that which is useful and gainful. It allows very few avenues to the kind of pure existential enjoyment that artists know in their work.
So, I guess my answer to the question above is, simply, that I was compelled to create a book on creativity for the simple reason that I love to create. It doesn’t matter which medium I choose; the sheer enjoyment of creating something new is what keeps me playing in new mediums, with ever new toys, and with increasing delight no matter what form the final piece takes. My books show others how to access the amazing power that resides inside them: the human birthright of creative freedom.