Coaching, Creativity, and Community
The following is a post I read from The Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts (ITIA). The artist who wrote this did a wonderful job of putting words to his artistic process. This totally resonates with me, and there was no way I could reiterate it and give it justice, so I copied an excerpt from the post, enjoy…
My work focuses on depicting hidden conversations that course through the undercurrent of our minds, unconsciously giving form to who we are as human beings. I work fast, letting my emotion and intuition drive the painting. It is through this process that I hope beauty reveals itself. For other artists, beauty is revealed through striving for technical perfection. These artists want to make any sign of the human creator disappear. For me, the opposite is true. I want my hand to be very evident in the work for it’s the human experience, the struggle, the failures, the successes, which is most beautiful to me.
The process of creating is an intimate practice. Art making is a meditative, reflective, physical, emotional and spiritual practice. Creating something that comes out of ourselves, releasing part of us into the world to be experienced by others is something that many people in our culture do not experience. This intimate practice of pulling from within and connecting with the deepest parts of our beings is beautiful because it’s natural, pure and uninhibited. It’s being human on one of its most raw levels.
I make art because I’m seeking to understand some small part of God. My creative process is about experientially finding some common ground with my creator, God.
The creative process, for me, is first and foremost an act of worship and communication with God —communication that is intimately my own. This process is an act of solidarity between God and myself. It’s me talking with God through the process of creating. It’s about letting my creator reveal himself to me and allowing him to use my experience, even the experience of struggling through the creative process, to make me stronger. Refined in the fire, made purer than ever. And that is beautiful.
This quote from Dutch-born priest and author Henri J.M. Nouwen inspires me: “In this crazy world, there’s an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom.” I need to create because my creating elicits the journey of finding light in darkness, healing in pain, joy in sorrow, hope in despair and life in death. In working to allow my creator to reveal himself through my process, steps are taken and beauty is revealed.
To read the post in its entirety:
TJ Walsh is a: Painter, Curator, Designer, Creative Strategist and Catalyst. He received his BFA Graphic Design/Painting from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. He is beginning his MA in Counseling Psychology at Eastern University, St. Davids, PA. Learn more about him at about.me/tjwalsh