Creativity

The perilous business of true art

Are you ready?
Strip off then.
Go on, everything.
Yes, that too.
Right down to your wiggly bits.
Feel exposed?
Yes, yes, ok.
Now, see those stairs?
Go ahead, climb up, stage left.
Walk through the black curtain and make your way to front centre.
There's a white cross taped to the floor there.
You can't miss it.
Stand right on the cross and
don't move.
Ready? It's about to start.
Lights are going up.
What's that? You want to know how this will go?
Sorry, that's not a part of this deal.
None us knows what happens next.
You signed up for this.
Now, go!
.
.
.

There, there, all finished.
Breathe.
How did it go?
Oh God, they didn't like it?
Really, they rejected everything?
Said it was ridiculous?
That you were out of your mind?
That you had no chance of making it?
That they didn't get it?
That it wouldn't work?
Couldn't work?
That you weren't...good enough?
Shit, that sucks, I know.
.
.
.
Here, rest on my shoulder a while.
I don't mind the snotty tears, honestly; we all need that,
sometimes.
All done? Good, good.
Now,
ready to go again?
Excellent, my friend, excellent.
Welcome to the life of the true artist.
You have officially
come
alive.

[To artists and creators everywhere. To those who risk the new. Those who stand naked over and over again with their heart in their hands saying, 'I made this. What do you think?' To the ones who know they'll suffer rejection, and create anyway. To those with the unpopular messages which need to be heard and dare to speak. To those who choose what feels honest and true over what is sure to work. To all of you, you have my highest fucking respect.]

Love and courage,

Leah

Rebellion, mischief and originality in a world that favours conformity

Offer me all the material success in the world. Sew my bedsheets with golden thread and hang diamonds from my curtains. Fill my bank accounts with rubies and embed emeralds on the tips of my shoes. Kiss my hands and bow deep at my feet. Speak of my great achievements with respect and awe. Fly me business class around the world and wait dutifully in line for a signed copy of my international bestseller. Quote me in journal articles and invite me on Oprah. Sing my praises to all who will listen. Know my authority and expertise.

Offer me all the material success in the world and I will reject it all if it comes at the cost of true expression. What is a life for if not to be oneself?

The light of rebellion, mischief and joy glitters in the eyes of my young twin nieces. I pray it never dulls. Born but minutes apart, their differences make up the utter beauty of this world. A unique expression of one, indivisible whole. The gift of each of us births rivers of salt from my eyes. Perhaps we will never know just how splendid our originality.

Yet with time, most of us get smudged. A little rounding off here. A little smoothing off there. Recruited into groups that blend us into one another so much that in the end there is little left to tell us apart. We feel relatively safe. Maybe we are pretty successful. People like us. We fit in. We move with the crowd.

But just beneath the dry, tired surface, true expression still flows. A creative force that’s hot like blood pushes at the door of your heart and begs to be let in and then up and out!

When a baby is born, an artist is born. The world is full of artists who have forgotten their gifts. Heavenly blessings smothered under rules, authority and fear. Find your way back now. It is not too late until the last breath is taken. Cut the cords that tie you to a flavourless life. Discover the truth and words your heart alone wishes to speak. Risk your reputation for the fire of your untamed creativity. Rejoice in the vulnerability of standing alone. Let Love burst through your red-rich veins and colour this world in the way it can only ever do through you.

What is a life for if not to be oneself?

Love and courage,

Leah

The Courage to Do Something Different (and Why It Matters)

All of us, over the course of our lives, will feel the call to deviate from the more common path. Something inside of us will be called upon to go left, when it seems that everyone else is going right.

It might arrive as a creative urge, to create something different, in a way that's different, to what the masses around you are creating. Or it might arrive in a deeply felt sense of the "right" thing to do in a particular situation, when the powerful pull of the majority would have you keep quiet and toe the line.

Creativity: It's About Getting Turned On. A Lot.

I was listening to a Michael Jackson album the other day (all hail the King of Pop) and came to a short track where Quincy Jones was talking about some of the work he and Michael did together. 

I’ve listened to this album a thousand times before but don’t think I’d ever really heard this bit where Quincy Jones says:

“You have to do something that gives you goosebumps. Because if you get turned on a lot, you’ve got a chance of somebody else getting turned on.”