Choices can be strong or weak, but not right or wrong.
The act of creativity stems from the imagination and impulses and impulses reside in the realms of the imagination and the subconscious. Considering such flashes of instinct are uncontrollable, how can such be right or wrong? (Again, I speak of creativity…not morally questionable actions).
Often, in the creative process, artists can get hung up in wanting to get their choices and actions “right”. As long as one is in this mind frame, one has lost.
When one’s attention is on getting choices right or wrong, one is engaging in an act of self-censorship. Then one is placing their focus in areas that need not be “minded”. Censorship is a sure-fired way to block oneself and inhibit the gems of the creative process.
These “gems” that I refer to are impulses followed and realized.
Many artists refer to something “flowing through them” or that they act as a “channel” for something acting through them; that they are simply a vessel…for something.
Ever felt like that? I certainly have…but only when I get out of the way of myself.
As long as one tries to control impulses, control final product, control what is to happen next, control how people might respond, control others…one’s work will only possess a certain degree of depth and, I would argue, will not enable one to realize one’s potential, which is freedom of expression (supported by a masterful technique).
The imagination is not a sad, tamed fairground pony, which has long ago had the wildfire whipped out of him or her. Rather, the imagination is like a wild planes mustang, unbridled, uninhibited and totally unconcerned for one’s feeling of right or wrong.
The imagination is kin to the Wildman archetype.
No one controls the Wildman, for the Wildman is wild.
Do you allow your Wildman (or woman) to have space and liberty to do what a Wildman does? What do they do? Wild things–Socially unacceptable things, at times…certainly not what is “right” or “wrong”.
How does one access this archetype within them self? Well, one can start by ceasing to listen to the voice of “you should”. “You should” is the voice of how others want you to live your life, how others want you to behave, what values they want you to hold.
When one overcomes “You should”, one acts in accord with their center—with who they are, uniquely and individually. In doing so, one gives creative space and breath to the Wildman or wildwoman archetype and, consequently, a greater degree of free expression.
Jim Hart is the Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU and is the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway.