Art speaks to each person differently.
As the hearer (observer, receiver), I love that. My interpretation, my emotions, my thoughts are my own, never wrong when it comes to hearing what art has to say to me. I lean closer, take more time, giving art time to express itself.
But as the artist (giver, creator), this makes me queasy. I want my art to speak to people by predetermined line and script. When the world rushes forth with myriad interpretations and opinions of my creative contribution, I feel misunderstood and misinterpreted. And I hate to be misunderstood and misinterpreted.
This is the downfall I must grapple with if I am to present my art offering before others. I am learning to let my offering go and let it fend for itself.
Luci Shaw says this in Breath for the Bones:
Art . . . tells us cognitively what it feels like to have a sudden flash of understanding or to experience the wonder and exhilaration of being in love. It’s my soul crying out to your soul: This is what I see and how I feel. Can you see it? Can you feel it too? (Shaw 4)
For this Creative Stretch, let’s take something familiar—a poem, a painting, a song, a Scripture, any piece of well-known art—and rework it from your perspective while remaining true to its original form. Lean in close to hear it well; then create something you can let go and set free in the world . . . and let others lean in to hear the whatever it has to say.
Tomorrow, I’ll share the results of my own creative stretch.
What do you have to offer? Do share!
Join our book club discussions on Breath for the Bones each Thursday.