How well do you know your own creative voice? How does it manifest through different talents or media? One of the many cool things about being a DaVinci — a multi-talented person — is that often, we have a distinctive way of expressing ourselves, regardless of what we’re doing.
I made this hand-hammered copper vase in an art class. As soon as she saw it, a fellow student exclaimed, “Oh! Now I remember you. I was in your ceramics class a few years ago.” She didn’t recognize or remember me as a person…but she could identify me from the things I made. Apparently, the same voice came through in different media — in this case, clay and copper.
It doesn’t seem to matter what I make, it looks like I made it. Here’s a recent necklace I concocted:
Here’s what happens when I turn to textiles:
Or make something in glass:
It might not surprise you, then, that when I started learning how to weld, this is very first thing I made:
What about you? How does your unique creative voice manifest?
Activity: How do other people describe your work? What words do they use?
Activity: Pull out some projects you’ve made. It doesn’t matter if they are screenplays or business deals or songs or anything else. What patterns do you notice? What commonalities?
Once you have a sense of your unique creative voice, it’s really fun to play in new media. For one thing, you never know what will unfold — it’s intrinsically interesting and inspiring. For another, you get to learn new skills and techniques. This allows you to expand your creative repertoire — and is also likely to give you new ideas and tools to apply to the media you’ve already been using. For example, when I was unhappy with the bland, symmetrical shape of the copper vessel I was making, I created more pleasing shapes and adornments — much more reminiscent of my pottery.
At the same time, you can bring your existing skills and tools to the newer format. For example, when I started fusing glass, it was natural to incorporate metal elements into the new pieces using the tools and techniques I already had.
Whatever your talents, I encourage you to explore your unique, creative voice in new situations and/or media. It’s fun. It’s inspiring. It will enhance and expand your existing skills. It will generate fresh ideas. It can help you overcome creative blocks. It will help you be more creative. Try it and see.
Activity: Try something new. It might be a new talent or applying your existing skills to new media. See what happens.
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