When did you first suspect you might be creative?
Do you remember the delight you took in colors when you held your first crayons?
Or the thrill of building sand castles on the beach?
Maybe you had an art teacher who lit a spark inside of you? Or perhaps it happened when you saw your first Van Gogh painting?
What caught your attention? What brought you so much joy that you felt it whisper to your heart: Follow this
For me it happened as a teenager.
I spent my childhood summers at my grandparents’ house, perched on the edge of a forest. For two weeks every year my suburban self was forgotten as I explored wooded paths and discovered meadows of high grass and wildflowers.
My imagination ran wild with this feral introduction to Nature.
I waved to the birds and danced with the wind. I bared my soul to every tree that would listen. The forest became my own magical world, where flowers spoke and butterflies giggled.
And everything in my young heart heard the call: Follow this
One day, I borrowed a camera to document my adventure.
I stumbled upon a herd of deer quietly grazing on their evening meal. I hid so as not to scare them, and thrilled to each press of the shutter as I captured the pictures.
Afterward, I lay in the tall grass of the meadow and watched the clouds change color as the summer sun slowly lay herself down. I aimed the camera up toward the clouds too.
Total bliss. Because it was in that field, with a camera in my hand, that I first fell in love with creativity.
Suddenly, the awakening spirit of my young self felt compelled to reach out to my future self and say ‘I was here.’
So I held out my hand and snapped a photograph of myself. My first selfie. I wanted that picture to always remind me.
As artists, we learn to trust that small voice that whispers Follow this. Like the Pied Piper, we follow its music beyond the rational, beyond the mundane, and sometimes even beyond reason.
Listen for that song in your own soul.
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