How to not slaughter your finest impulse

This week I reveal some of our creative processes and what art means to us

Earlier this morning I read an article about the work of gathering sad to fuel the stories we tell in our lives.

The writer shares this little insight about young writers (i.e. sad creatives like you and me):

I worry sometimes that young writers think they need to accumulate a bunch of painful experiences in order to exploit them for their writing.

I think this expands beyond writing. To our generation, art could literally mean any form of creation (fine art folks, is this reductive??). I’m talking about doodles & sketches, IG Stories, spontaneous rant sessions on IGTV, long-winded 3am (lately it’s been 8pm for me, thanks adulting) conversations, photography/selfie-snapping, and of course writing.

Art is freedom, and no one should stand in the way of your expression. But the writer was kind enough to add this caveat:

Sometimes you suck out the poison and spit it on the page.

Then you close the notebook so it doesn’t poison anyone else.

News flash: you don’t necessarily need to share your sad with the world. While it’s great and courageous that you do, some times I think we’re doing less good than we intend to.

By no means am I disregarding the plethora of sad art (Sylvia Plath, Andy Warhol comes to mind) we have the privilege to experience, but you get what I’m saying.

For me, that means sending you an email on Monday afternoon that makes you feel sparkly and good, instead of weighing you down with my pains and worries. Given the choice of your attention, I ought to be more appreciative and choose to influence your emotions wisely 🧐

That’s to say, reader, that I’m sorry for the emotional roller coaster I may have put onto you. As a creative process that continues to be refined (fortunately with your feedback), we will slowly move to a sweet spot where we can discuss the absurdities of life without cramping each other’s style.

Following my therapy sessions, I’ve formulated a humble mantra for myself:

📣 Step Out Of Me.

And by that I mean taking some steps back and acknowledging that I am not always the hero or protagonist of my story (oh, paradoxical), or any story for that matter.

Which brings me to you, reader! On the topic of creative endeavours, I’ve made humble observations of you and I thought you might engage more with this kind of content 💁🏻‍♀️

Gather round with your bento box 🍙, here’s a summary of some of our creative processes:

Chiyo: A former Fine Art student, she is great with perspective and can sit down and commit to a watercolour painting at any time. She used to have a bad relationship with art because of the obligations entailed.

Now that she has freed herself of it, her creative expression is once again blooming, but maybe not in watercolour. Nowadays, she uses her creativity to fuel her romantic relationship as well as relationships with her clients at work. By that I mean teaching small children to be lovely and creative. Guess her job?

Hikari: A creative and mad scientist at the same time. This one I have the great privilege to co-habitate with, so I get to see the creative process first-hand.

Prone to long creative hibernations, Hikari wakes up to great swells of technique research and experimentation with his test subjects, i.e. his 7 dogs at home. Once he masters a new creative technique, he will then go back to hibernation until he is ready to manifest his new skills on an upcoming project.

His secret? Hibernate, and never overcompensate in creative work. Your fatigue will leak through in your work.

Toru: This constantly hibernating potato is a work of art herself. A random night owl that’s proud to control creativity instead of letting creativity control her (and the same philosophy applies to everything else she does), she basically has art flowing through her veins at all times.

I’m talking about a girl who gave this question a serious thought — ‘If you were a food, what would you be?’

And she managed to give me a very satisfying answer, paired with the metaphorical backing (DM me if you wanna know).

Her favourite creativity tool: iPhone 6.

Me: ‘Nuff said. I force myself to write this newsletter every Monday, like drinking green juice but only once a week.

Mori: Through her ocassional IG stories (we’ve known each other since 7, but since then we’ve had so many geographical barriers), I observe her weapon of choice to be — sketching. Also a former Fine Art student (!!!).

Outside of sketches, she goes to lots and lots of art galleries all over the world. Some gifts I’ve received from her: A postcard featuring Klimt’s The Kiss & a mini notebook with Claude Monet’s Water Lilies on the cover.

I think by dropping some of these names I’ve successfuly built a mood/aesthetic for her.

Naoko: At first glance Naoko doesn’t strike me as the creative type, but as you’ll see in the coming quote I attached, we’re all artists in our own ways.

At work and by training, Naoko is a technician. But that doesn’t stop her from exploring creativity in her leisure times.

I’ve caught her practising brush lettering with friends (IG Stories, what a saviour), and recently she went for a painting class with her beau! 🎀 Can I say how important it is to be creative and experimental with the people closest to you?

So much love, so much cute. Ugh, you go Glen Coco!

By using randomised names I have somehow obfuscated their identities, but I want to leave you with enough information to get a subtle idea about these folks, which I hope can establish a tiny jolt of intimacy.

If you are any of the people mentioned above, I think it’ll come through easily.

If I missed you, please write back and tell me about your creative process. I want to know.

I’m gonna leave one of my favourite quotes here at the bottom to get you feeling warm and creative. Until next week! ✨

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.” 
― Henry Miller