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figure in clay by Trudy Meehan

“This might end up in crying. If you’re not prepared to cry about it, I’m not sure you’re making art” (Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception, 2012, p. 210)

Being prepared to cry implies an ability to cry. It goes without saying that if you want to make good art, you need to dig deep, be brave enough to be vulnerable and go to places where crying is likely.  This isn’t easy for everyone. I recently wrote a post about crying over IVF in a toilet cubicle in Zurich airport. https://theburdenofwings.com/2013/08/05/be-generous-cry/ 

The post was important for me on two levels. First it was an expression of genuine emotion and a record of an event that I wanted to share. Second, it was a post about feeling pain, about the challenges of and the desire to become vulnerable, and about how to more readily access my emotions.  The second part is important because I am interested in developing my creative wings.

Putting ourselves in situations where failure, even catastrophic failure, is possible is vital for creative development. Failure is important for the development of our creativity and imagination and innovation. And most importantly the ability to feel our emotions is critical for the growth of a rich creative life. Feeling sad is equally as important as feeling excited in the process of making art. Seth Godin reminds us about the need to be prepared to get so invested you might be devastated and cry but he also highlights the importance of excitement and passion for creation. Godin says “if you’re not prepared to dance in anticipation, you’re definitely not making art”(2012, p.211).

So there you have it – care so much you will cry if it fails and get so invested you dance with excitement, do this and you will undoubtedly be on the right track.

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3 thoughts on “What’s crying got to do with art?

  1. Beautiful sculpture – it really caught my attention. And yes, to crying and dancing. Had a cry this morning and it really does help. The dancing may happen tomorrow! 😉

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