“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”~ Émile Zola
There it sits, right in front of you. You look at it, and you swear it looks back. It stares at you, looking right through you, taunting you to approach. You step forward, then back. You pace as it stares at you, mocking your stride as it sits motionless.
Your blank canvas has an agenda.
It’s up to you to unlock its secret story.
Often, we as artists stare at a blank canvas. We sit and we stare. We leave the room then come back and stare a bit more. Nothing changes. Time progresses, and it sits still, blank and void of color, emptiness projected through blinding white light.
We all endure this moment of creative stagnation. We have an idea, but we aren’t quite sure how to approach it. Sometimes the idea is blurry, resting in the fog of our mind’s eye. Sometimes the idea itself eludes us altogether, hiding behind other noise.
But we don’t give up. We wait. We want the right moment of inspiration. We yearn for that divine spark. And until that moment strikes us, we’ll have yet to breathe life into the blankness.
This prequel to the act of creation reminds me very much of myself as a young child. Too often I’d run off without any idea of where I was going or what I was going to do. And though I didn’t realize it then, it’s clear to me now that in those moments I was the most free, the most creative, the most pure. It is within this special place that the creative spark lives. In those moments, all I simply wanted to do was to be outside, to be free.
This is how we approach the blank canvas. We don’t have to have an idea, we just have to be there in the presence of life. We just have to have the desire, the fire that burns within.
To create art is to unlock the human experience, and to move the soul. It is to make the world feel. It is our way of living out loud.
We all just have to step outside sometimes and feel the breath of life grace our hearts. The direction will always find us.
Step toward the canvas, free yourself, and begin to live.