Tis the season of magic! Even in the darkest times, with questions about our very humanity riding high, humans still celebrate their most beloved holidays with love and care. I still feel a sense of magic this time of year, even in 2020, even at my age, even when I feel jaded about the future. Magic is still a place of wonder where we discover possibility. It is where joy and hope and love live somehow protected by our fragile hearts. I choose to celebrate this year in the spirit of magic. I send out this spirit to you too on the wings of the arts.
On a broader scale, I find that the magic of the season translates the way other magical things do for me – through the arts. Creating from my heart, mind and soul in all areas brings me joy. Through creativity, I find hope, joy and peace in this season, even with its current challenges. The magic of this season will lead to a New Year (eventually) and to new opportunities and possibilities. In this spirit of hope, I share some of my favorite magical words:
It’s like Magic!
As an artist, I have had someone say “how do you do that? It’s like magic!”
It isn’t magic of course. It takes a lot of practice and experience to learn to paint, draw, sculpt, etc. but sometimes it feels a bit
M • A • G • I • C • A • L
The artistic process is the closest thing to magic I have ever experienced. The perfect recipe of ideas, direction, techniques and media that form a piece of artwork is a rare form of magic. When finished, this “magic”’ is nothing short of miraculous. Especially when shared with other human beings, a work of art inspires us to be more.
Just like magic was released by Ariana Grande this fall. She talks about her aesthetic and manifesting her own karma in this song. No matter the kind of artist we are, this magical place of creativity is special, something to nurture, something to share.
Learning to “see” is one way a visual artist is able to reproduce what they are observing around them. But the ultimate creative version of the piece of art has less to do with reality than it does to do with inspiration. Artistic creation is a unique combination of imagination, determination and connection. The universe opens its arms to an idea allowing the space for the magic to spark. No matter what style or technique is used, there are no two artists who see things the same way. This is where the magic lives and the artwork begins.
The magic of creativity thrives in something like a crevasse in a large rock. You don’t know what is down there, but eventually as the rains come and time passes, a tree grows right out of that crevasse reaching toward the sun. The seed was there all along just waiting for the right combination to allow it to grow. Magic…
A space opens in the mind of the artist and a creative idea sprouts and grows out of nothingness. This is true of every artistic endeavor, every creative idea, and every problem solving solution. In yoga it is called being open to grace. In art it is called the creative process. Something sparks an idea, and a song is born, a painting is created, a story is told. An experience is shared.
I believe the difference between a work of art and simply an art project lies in the way that work of art moves us. That’s where the magic lies. It is about expression, connection and that inexplicable “somethin-somethin” we can’t quite put our fingers on but speaks to another person.
Magic lives here
This place of awe and surprise is the juncture between idea and manifestation. It is the place where the magic lives. In the space between reality and imagination lies a work of art. Only someone with just the right information can connect the dots and communicate that specific idea that others can experience.
Something special happens to a creative thought as it sparks, grows into a tiny flame and eventually explodes into a work of art. The artist’s mind cultivates the idea, executes the technique and then the process allows the art to be created. But the magic is beyond our understanding. It simply is.
I am not underestimating the fact that training and incredible hard work are also a huge part of this journey. Just like other professions, there is a great degree of study, practice, discipline and yes, creativity. But also like other professions, there is a special ingredient that remains elusive but is essential for artistic success. I believe this ingredient is what we refer to as the magic.
The next time you react to a work of art, remind yourself that your reaction is priceless to the artist as well as yourself. No work of art ever feels truly validated until it has been noticed and experienced by another human being. That interaction is the connection that every artist craves. For another human being to be moved in some personal way by the artistic expression of another is priceless.
That is the magic. The place where your heart and your creativity collide; changing a tiny place in the world forever.
Here’s to the magic!