A look back at historical Creative Edge posts
July 2018
Originally posted in 1989
by Donald Mathews

Typically in the arts, the focus is on the art object or performance—the outward
expression. Then, critique identifies what has been done right or wrong
according to the prevailing standard without regard for the inward motivation or
feelings of the artist. The few TALENTED quickly do so much right they easily
excel. By comparison the remaining become the UNTALENTED. This usually
occurs at an early age and is reinforced over the years. Consequently, a lower
level of self-esteem and performance is adopted in the arts that feels appropriate
for the now hidden harsh and very painful early judgmental experiences. Even
when inspired again, motivation to excel quickly dies. Most people fall into this
highly self-critical second category.

ARTISTIC OR CREATIVE EXPRESSION IS NATURAL TO ALL HUMAN
BEINGS. We all have a natural unique ability to sing, dance, draw, paint, act,
write, etc. Unless we have a physical disadvantage, the matter of talent is usually
psychological shaped by forgotten experiences of long ago and can be changed
once this is understood. Therefore, to reclaim the natural gift of creativity, I feel
it is essential for all of us to examine deeply, clearly, and with love, who we
really are as particular unique individuals. Then, blocks, misconceptions, and
distorted self images that we or the society carries as normal, can be changed as
we joyfully learn the craft of artistic expression.

For me, growth, development, education, and healing are all synonymous. They
all have moved me toward my own fully functioning human potential. This life
long task has a natural rhythm and mystery uniquely my own because of my own
particular experiences and perceptions. It is my journey and creative strength. I
feel the creative process is my most powerful human resource. It is the source
and way I know the grace of the divine; it is the gift of my very own spiritual
essence. It has been how I have found inner peace and freedom.

In my life journey I have discovered many edges or barriers to knowing myself.
Perhaps one of the most difficult to overcome was my deep resistance to owning
my own imagination and creative abilities. I did not honor my own sacred
creative vision or muse. Therefore, over the first half century of my life, I
denied it. However, a few special people supported me in my quest with
unconditional love and then I was slowly able to discover the very human person
I am: with various faults, but highly creative, imaginative, expressive, and also
deeply caring about my fellow travelers on the planet. I hope you are called to
this quest. If so, I invite you to join with us in the creative search.

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