It’s another glorious Monday, my friends!
One of the last ones of the year, in fact, if you can believe it! (I know I can’t.)
Truth be told, I had a different newsletter topic all cued up this week and then something pretty wonderful happened this morning that changed my course a bit.
Elizabeth Gilbert -- author of my favorite book of 2015, Big Magic, a complete treasure of a writer, and soulful creative through and through -- used my #BetterLetteringCourse art journal piece from yesterday to accompany one of her beautiful, thoughtful Facebook letters this morning. (If you’re not following her page, I highly recommend it. She regularly shares article-length posts with gorgeous insights on life and creativity.)
Anyway, aside from geeking out over a personal idol of mine sharing my work, I was even more grateful to have my work accompanying a sentiment so near and dear to my heart: the idea that CREATIVITY IS FOR EVERYONE.
Art is not about the product, but about the process. It is about what you learn, what you become, what you awaken to throughout the magical endeavor of creating. I believe that with all my heart and it is beautifully expressed in Liz’s words which I’ve copied for you here, highlighting my favorite passages (warning: it's long but so worth reading!):
But seriously, can I get an amen?! As I read that this morning, I wanted to climb through my computer screen and give Liz a big hug for putting words to something I so fundamentally agree with in my bones.
While I’m not sure I could ever communicate this idea as beautifully as Liz does here, it is a topic that I want to echo for you all today because it is that important.
It reminded me of an article I stumbled across months and month ago called "The Mediocre Movement" about the saturation of hand-lettering and typography inspiration in art and design. In this Medium post, the author pretty much posits that our collective taste level for design — especially hand-lettered typography — is on a rapid decline. That we should be more discerning in who we support and what we deem to be inspiring or great.
I remember reading this article, my heart level increasing with every word, and thinking, “Okay, but WHY? Why must there be an objective standard for what art is deemed good and what good does it do to discourage people from expressing themselves through art?”
It’s this very thinking that prevents SO many people from even embarking on the creative journey in the first place. It is this "not enough" mentality that feeds our pre-existing fears and prevents us from experiencing the transcendent joy of creating and stretching and growing and expressing.
Listen, I understand where the sentiment comes from. The author of that piece is clearly passionate about design and art and beautiful things and he wants to protect his idea of what that is in our society. I can’t blame anyone for wanting to protect what they love.
However, do you know what is more important than beautiful things?
Beautiful people. Beautiful lives. Beautiful experiences.
A world filled with people who love themselves and share their stories and are generous with their experiences. A world full of wonder and discovery and possibilities, not standards and rules and exclusion.
I know from experience that creativity, expression, exploration, delight, self-love… these are the building blocks of beautiful things -- things that aren't things at all.
So, the sentiment I want to leave you with this week is precisely what Liz shared:
Creativity belongs to you. (And don't you EVER forget it.)
It is your human right to create. And whatever comes of it -- whether deemed "good" or "not so good" -- is irrelevant.
Please, for ALL of our sakes, "create whatever causes a revolution in your heart." :)