With everyone born human, a poet — an artist — is born,
who dies young and who is survived by an adult.
– Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve
This morning I came across this quote in the introduction Julia Cameron’s Vein of Gold, the sequel to her amazing book The Artist’s Way which I read early in my creative journey. I’ve had Vein of Gold on my shelf for some time, but it wasn’t until this morning that I looked at the shelf and decided to pick the book up. It’s time for me to revisit the topic of creativity in more depth.
Within the first few pages, she has already touched on something that I believe at my core: We all have an artist within us. You may not have realized or rediscovered it yet, you may not have claimed it yet, but the artist is there. It’s the same artist who approached a new box of crayons with glee when you were 4 years old. The same artist who doodled on your notebooks in junior high. Who brooded over which songs to include to create the perfect mix tapes (er, playlists) as a teenager.
We all create. And a person who creates something, brings something new into the world that wasn’t there before, is an artist. I can name you an artist, but that doesn’t matter. The only person who can truly name you as an artist is… you.
Julia writes this in the introduction of Vein of Gold: “…you will reclaim your keys to the creative gifts locked within you. You will discover that the keys have been yours all along. This means, of course, that it is not my place to name you an artist. Such power would be lovely, but it does not reside with me. You are the one who must name yourself. You are the one who must seek – and claim – your creative destiny. No one else can do that for you, but you can do it for yourself.”
Are you ready to claim your artist? I did, some time ago here, and it was an amazing, empowering experience that has changed my point of view in so many ways. You can too. Come with me as I explore the “art + creativity” part of my personal equation more here in the future. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to claim your artist and find your own personal equation along the way too.