Thought Row Episode 5: Creative Chaos
R: Hi everyone…welcome to the Thought Row podcast. As you know we start the podcast with an inspirational quote. So what do you have for us today Inci?
Quote of the Day: Imagination is more important than knowledge – Albert Einstein
Discussion on quote of the day
R: Tell our listeners about the topic for today.
I: Our topic today is Creative Chaos…and we are going to share with you some positive thoughts and ideas on what you can do about it. I know you have some thoughts about this Rod…why don’t you start out?
R: Creative chaos is no stranger to any of us. Worry, stress, anxiety, and a whole host of other robbers of our peace and contentment are constantly running in the background, especially when we’re trying to be creative.
R: What are your thoughts about Creative Chaos? I know you recently made a blog post entitled Heart of a Muse…does it shed light on today’s topic.
I: One of the main points that I think exemplifies Creative Chaos is how we all seem to come up with tasks that are not always pleasant, but somehow seem to be important enough to interfere with pursuing our creative projects.
R: It seems like everyone shares the burden of things we want to do versus the things that we should or ought to do.
I: I feel like this really applies to women more so than men. I know men always put work and business first, so they can provide for their families. But women always seem to have the responsibility of taking care of all the things that are time robbers. Anywhere from cooking to doing the laundry. And let’s don’t forget keeping our homes tidy.
R: Well, one major consideration for women is that a lot of them work or have businesses to run. And I suspect in most homes the burden of maintaining the household ends up more on the shoulders of women. Which greatly impacts their ability to think and be creative within anything considered to be artistic.
R: I have a question for you…When do you think this Creative Chaos that affects all of our creative lives starts?
I: Theologians suggest it may have happened around the time someone took a bite out of an apple, in a garden long ago. We may never know for sure when creative chaos started, but there’s one thing absolutely sure, creative chaos is alive and well and impacts all of us.
R: Somehow I always had the impression that it had something to do with man giving up one of his ribs.
I: Really? There would be no man…if it wasn’t for us women.
R: Ok…you win. Either way this Creative Chaos that everyone experiences impacts people that try their best to be creative. But when you think about it, the whole universe is in a constant state of chaos. But somehow it manages to bring life to the planets or at least to our planet, which set the stage for men and women to become artistically creative.
I: As man has evolved he has shown signs from the earliest man to today that we are all creative in something. Whoever those people were that painted the cave walls in Liseaux, France and other locations arguably were excellent artists and they apparently knew their subjects well.
R: I think that’s why you and I both become uncomfortable when we hear people say that they’re not creative. Granted…it may be difficult to be creative all the time when our lives are chaotic. But the reality is that everyone is creative. Just look at someone you know who makes the best chocolate cake or apple pie. Not only is it delicious and made with love, but it oozes creativity.
I: Talk about Creative Chaos…and how it impacts everyone’s creativity…I have to say what’s been going on around the world with the pandemic has devastated a lot of people’s ambitions to be creative. It’s almost impossible to shift your thinking into positive thoughts to channel your creativity.
R: It’s truly unfortunate that so many venues where people go to be inspired creatively like museums and concerts and others are shut down. You can’t even realistically hang out with fellow creatives.
I: I guess it’s forced many people to look to the Internet for their creative feedback.
R: Yes, and reading books. Book sales are up, which in my way of thinking is probably better to read than sitting around watching TV.
I: Listening to music for me is inspiring and meditative and helps relieve stress. It seems like after I relax with good music or listen to a meditation, I’m all charged up and head to my studio to paint.
R: Does it work for you? It doesn’t always work for me…listening to music when you are painting or for that matter writing. I know some people swear by it. But I generally like to be immersed in my own thoughts.
I: I like to wear my headset. I mix paints and onto the canvas they go. I know you and I listen to different types of music. But for me I like to listen to Pop, Jazz, Turkish music, classical, all kinds of music really.
R: As you know, I lean towards classical music, when I do listen to music when painting. When I’m writing I like it quiet. Although, there seems to be a squirrel that comes up to the window and for some reason is fascinated by me sitting there writing.
I: You’re lucky…occasionally a raven sits outside my window while I am busily writing. And of course he has to blurt out his loud cawing which shows me he wants me to pay attention to him and get my face out of the computer. And you know what? He always succeeds.
R: Let’s trade…I will give you two squirrels for one raven.
R: Our imaginations can create or disperse creativity. It may be a normal state for some, but creativity does not like chaos. And it certainly doesn’t function well when the mind is filled with anxiety.
I: Anxiety…everyone becomes anxious. It can last a few minutes or it can last a week or more. It’s very unfortunate and a huge robber of creativity. Not to mention it steals joy and quite frankly it makes people not much fun to be around.
R: Anxieties’ closest cousin is worry. Those two seem to hang out together. Ralph Waldo Emerson has a quote I particularly like, “ A man is but the product of his thoughts.”.
Which simply means that if you’re thinking about negative stuff, it’s pretty hard for positive creative thoughts to come to surface.
I: I think Rod you and I seem to be the most creative when we are feeling happy and not worried or have anxiety. But realistically that’s not always the case. I wish for everyone that they can learn how to push away all that creative chaos and focus on being creative in everything they do. It’s actually a lot of fun and very rewarding.
I: I’ve seen and I’ve read about people that thrive on creative chaos. It somehow brings out the best ideas in them. Like some song writers that have to go through angst to write a love song or certain painters or writers that create out of their suffering.
R: It seems to me…that some artistic mediums will function better without chaos. A perfect example of this is…if you are a glass blower or your firing pottery in a kiln or you working at a foundry pouring a sculpture…you definitely cannot survive by thinking negatively, you have to concentrate on what you are doing so you don’t get hurt. But, so many artistic endeavors allow negative thoughts to flow in. Those artists, like you pointed out, Inci thrive on chaos. But they generally don’t have to worry about getting burnt by a hot blazing furnace.
I: We all mess up creatively, which in itself guarantees chaos. You may be working on a painting and all of a sudden you realize…it’s not working. Or..like you like to say Rod, you’re baking a cake and it doesn’t rise. You have a matzo cake. LOL…No doubt people that are writers may have it a little easier, they can be anxious and frustrated, but they can always hit the delete button and clean up their expressive expletives rather quickly.
R: Let’s talk about thoughtful creative chaos. Which I happen to think is a real thing. But like everything else in our creative lives it can be turned into a tool for good hearted freshness, pushing away imaginative staleness. When we’re not creative, but our mind starts giving us a hard time because we are not living, acting or being creative. But the mere fact that we are uncomfortable, at least forces us to come up with strategies to get back into the game of creativity.
I: You know what Rod I’ve discovered that creative chaos is sharable. I can be feeling at the top of my game and having all these beautiful imaginative thoughts only to have someone rain on my parade with their anxieties and now I have a tendency to become a party to their anxiety.
R: You wouldn’t be referring to me…are you? I know that I can have emotional ups and downs and I am not always good at keeping them to myself. If nothing else you know me well enough to pick up on the fact that I’m being anxious and stressed.
I: Yes, but I do the same to you. But that doesn’t seem to bother me as much as when someone outside of our immediate family decides to unload. In fact, you can even pick it up pretty intensely on FB. A bad comment or somebody’s gripe session can really bring you down.
R: Inci and I are very careful what we allow into our lives. Negative people are not welcome. It’s not that we are trying to be uncaring or mean. But neither one of us have ever been able to solve their problems, especially because for all practical purposes they really don’t want them solved.
I: That’s exactly right… outside influences from other people can really impact a person’s creative output. But nothing is worse than getting sucked into the news… it probably the #1 source of agitation for many people these days.
R: Negativity doesn’t elevate anyone. And it is certainly disastrous when it occupies a creative mind. You will never totally remove it completely from your thoughts. In fact, psychologists say it’s wired into our brains as a protective mechanism. Think about when you are walking through the jungle and you hear a panther growling in the bushes near you. I can assure you that you will be stressed and have a lot of anxiety which is your cue to get the heck out of there. This is one time when you are lucky to act on those anxious stressful feelings.
I: Look at your own creative chaos, but do not be too judgemental of yourself, because that in itself brings on more negativity. Chaos in the right hands give birth to creativity in all of its beauty and glorious outcomes. After all, the beautiful planet we thrive on was the genesis of a massive amount of chaos. And don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better place to be creative.
R: Like the opening line in the book “Tale of Two Cities” by Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” But let’s all try and make the worst of times the staging ground for the best of times. We all have choices and we all have ups and downs, but give yourself absolute permission to be happy and creative.
I: This was very timely and interesting to discuss and I hope that you were able to pick up something helpful. Let us know what you think about creative chaos on our website at ThoughtRowPodcast.com on the contact form tab. We will try and share some of your thoughts.
I: Next week we are going to discuss Vanity of Art, which is something that every creative person deals with. From the costume and set designers at the Metropolitan Opera or La Scala – if you wish, to a chef creating a souffle with just the right timing and presentation. Vanity has such an interesting connotation is it a positive or negative? We’ll be discussing this on our next podcast.
R: This is going to be an interesting topic. Think about likes on social media…how does that affect you?
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So it’s bye for now from Rod and me…have a great day.