Meet Your Inner Genius
It will help you through this time...
The creative challenge for last week was about Blind Contour Drawing, if you missed it, you can read the full article HERE. About capturing the essence of an item even if the picture doesn’t look like it. Then there is the opportunity to take that picture and turn it into something else, something abstract; a repeat print or a pop art series.
I drew a blind contour sketch of one of my cats, Nancy.
I drew a blind contour picture of my current books in my gold wing bookends. I like the line drawing but then I did a copy of it and painted it in four colours which I took from the book shelf.
I experimented with using the details and looked at the abstract patterns that came up:
At some point during this process, as part of our homeschooling we all do art together, my children were talking about ‘being a genius’. I found myself telling them about the concept of not ‘being’ a genius but ‘having’ a genius, sort of like a familiar:
I read about it in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. If you haven't read it, is a wonderful volume all about creativity and inspiration. In the book she talks about how in ancient Greece it was thought that everyone had a genius inside them, genius was not the label of separation for a gifted few. The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains it here:
“The genius came to be thought of as a sort of guardian angel, a higher self; and, as the Greek daimon was sometimes rationalised into the individual’s character or temper, so also the poet Horace half-seriously said that only the genius knows what makes one person so different from another, adding that he is a god who is born and dies with each one of us. This individual genius was worshipped by each individual, especially on his birthday.”
It reminds me of Lyra’s Pantalaimon in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (the Golden Compass in the US), of Jiji in Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989 Film by Studio Ghibli) or Aslan of Narnia. There are stories about characters guided by voices, the one I read most recently is the character of Mother Eve in the brilliant book The Power by Naomi Alderman.
There is much talk in self development land about our ‘higher self’, our ‘intuitive guide’ and ‘inner champion’. Which material you choose to read or watch, whatever your belief system; it helps to realise that, at the very least, there is a part of you somewhere, however you choose to identify it, that is on your side, has your back and is rooting for your success.
After six weeks in lockdown in the UK, we have all been challenged to meet ourselves on a new level, found inner resources we didn’t know we had. A strength of spirit has been required in a way it never was before. What part of yourself inspired the new hobby, or got you through the crisis? how did you know what to do in that nightmare situation? Where did the moments of beauty and inspiration, gratitude and self discovery come from?
That is your genius.
This week's challenge is to IDENTIFY your genius.
In any way you want to.
This is important.
Find your inner guide, hidden strength, your ‘genius’ and keep it.
Don’t allow it to be buried under early starts, busy commutes and office politics, harassed school runs and a whirlwind of social activities. Let it teach you a more comfortable way to live as we move towards a ‘new normal’.
Take a moment or five, or sixty - as many as you have access to. And think. No distractions.
Where does your genius live in your body and/or mind? What does it look like? How does it feel? Does it have a shape or a colour or a sound? What, if anything, does it say to you?
Draw it or write a letter to it. Paint it in abstract, or collage photos or colours. Ask it to dictate to you a poem. Record a conversation to it and put it to music. There is no limit here. Everyone is different and will respond to this in their own way. This one is a personal journey. Yours.
Like I said, it is important. You are important. This stuff matters. You matter.
Find a way it can be put on a wall, displayed in whatever form, large or small: poster, quote, graffiti (in your own home of course), art canvas.
Somewhere you can see it, so it will be there for you to draw strength and inspiration from as we move forward with uncertainty and trepidation.
None of us know where the future is taking us, what society will look like and how it will feel.
Your genius will be there to hold your hand, help you make decisions and guide you when you need it to.
Eventually, one day, you can look at it and say thank you. We got through it.
Stay safe, much love,
You can share your results if you want to at:
Facebook The Attentive Art Group
I have mentioned several books in this article: I recommend all of them and I am a big fan of Audible. They are all available to listen to and with Audible you get a free 30 day trial which you can access HERE*
Kiki’s Delivery Service is a sweet film, I enjoyed it both before and after having children.**
*I genuinely listen to a great deal on Audible and love it. If you sign up for Audible through my link I might receive a small fee.
** If you watch Kiki’s Delivery Service I won’t receive anything but recommend it anyway.***
*** Have a great day. x