Practicing Art

When we are kids, we’re all artists.  As we grow up, something happens that changes that.  Many (most) of us lose our concept of art.  Is art the finger painting on the refrigerator?  Is art the Lego structure on the living room floor?  Is art the bouquet of flowers you picked from the garden? Is art last night’s dinner?  Is art the thing you enjoy doing and others enjoy seeing?  Yes!

We’re surrounded by art every day and yet we don’t notice it and we surely don’t practice it ourselves.  When was the last time you created art for your own creative sake?  You could have done something else, bought something else, but you didn’t.  You created.

Your kids did that — probably more often that you appreciated.  After all, how many pictures can even fit on your refrigerator?

When you said stop, you meant stop for now.  What they heard was stop forever.  Yes, it happened to you too.

You can fix it.  Make something and give it away.  Then make something else and give it away.  Do it again.  And again.

Last month, I decided that I would make some Christmas gifts.  I’ve spent hours working and putting things together and these gifts are now complete.  I was expecting an amount of relief when I finished the sometimes tedious tasks, but it never came.

It made a hole.  I need to do more.  I need to give more.

I have a feeling the hole will only get bigger.  The more you give, the more you need to give.  It doesn’t make sense.  I’ve heard “It’s better to give than to receive.” my whole life, but I didn’t get it.  I think the truth is that it is better to create than to receive.  I’ve given lots many times and it didn’t make a hole.  Only when I create and give my art away does it touch my soul.

Maybe that’s the secret.  We’re all wandering around buying stuff to try to make us happy, but the real fulfillment comes from art.  Make yourself create something.  Ask someone to create some art for you.  We need to practice our art more.  I need to practice my art more.  I also need you to practice your art more.

Make something and give it away.  Then do it again.  And again.  And again.

What is your art?  Is your art preparing dinner for your family?  Is your art what you do at work?  Is your art comforting a child?  Is your art fixing a car?  It doesn’t matter what it is.  What matters is that it’s your art and you create it and you give it away.

What art have you been avoiding?  What can you create and give?

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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