Artist as Explorer: Harnessing the intrepid spirit with artistic solutions.

Artists are explorers. They navigate into unknown creative territory, essentially, they are the creative front line—first to analyze and synthesize a visual report and methodology that become the roadmap to a new art piece.

Yes, it all sounds like some hero’s journey. In some way, it is.

I find that I feel a responsibility toward the audience. One never knows how a work will be interpreted, so I feel it’s important to be in a good frame of mind and paint with dedication and true caring. 

Many artist see things in different ways. Developing this skill can happen at any point in life. As children, the freshness of creativity allows for a self-directed playful imagination up to, and until these children are “encouraged” to recognize that there are rules.

Don’t get me wrong, some rules are important, especially the ones that are there to keep one safe and healthy.

As a “grown-up” creative thinker, how does one maintain a balance with a foothold in both worlds? After all, it’s difficult to be a parent, with a corporate job, and also be a self-directed, pioneer of the creative landscape. My personal answer was the tether. Much like, mountain climbers with a safety harness or those marking new trails who create a map in order to not get lost.

Again, it’s a safety issue. Navigating “new” place requires some basic safety skills.

Keeping safety at the forefront has been useful when passionately cutting wood at the circular saw, or when wanting to dive into the next creative adventure but also needing to safely drive children to an after school event.

One thing about creativity in my life is that solving problems are at the heart of developing creativity.

The motivation is key. There is a reason that necessity is the mother of invention.

I needed to be creative AND be a person that can “play it safe”.

It's not always done very easily.

Straddling these worlds is the hero part. In my definition, the saving the world” is just part of the job. But the ability to “report” the journey and map it out, this is the brave hero part. In large part, I see the artist-heroic explorer as the being that thoughtfully provides a roadmap, a guide, or a path for one to return to a state of groundedness while attempting feats of creativity.

When some artists work they venture beyond the well-travelled road and risk going beyond. Sometimes, my experience and developed resources allow me to be able to create a painting, but it becomes something “new” only when I understand the larger picture, that my finite existence, may only allow me enough time to fashion a “key” of sorts to bring back home. 

Each piece can be a key.

They become artistic solutions to ordinary problems.


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