In my head, I’m Renoir.
In my head, I’m Mozart.
I’m Frank Lloyd Wright.
I’m Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald.
In my head, I’m a brilliant artist, singer, improvisational genius, song writer, architectural designer and more.
Seriously. I can hear the music I want to write down or play. I can hear the way I want to sing something. I can visualize what I want to paint on the canvas or sketch onto the paper. The stuff in my head is fantastic.
My problem, is that I can’t get it out of my head. As soon as I pick up a pencil and put tip to paper, all creative talent flees. Even my stick people are unrecognisable as stick people.
I tried to sketch a tree the other day. It looked like something a 2 year old would do. A 2 year old on a serious amount of opiate pain killers. Using their non dominant hand. Whilst blindfolded. On a ship in a hurricane.
I’ve tried to do improvisational music. I was part of a jazz club for ages and never got called on to do an improv solo after my first few embarrassing attempts.
I’ve tried painting. I’ve tried drawing. I’ve tried. But I just can’t.
There’s some hope for me I suppose. From what I understand this kind of thing is ultra modern and can fetch a lot of money. And I did this in under a minute on MS Paint.
So maybe there’s an opening in modern art for me.
The strange thing is, some of my favourite activities are creative; music, cross stitching, cooking. But I realised looking at that list that they are all “follow the instructions”. Read the music and translate it into finger positions on an instrument and you produce the right sounds. Read a pattern and stitch the right colour in the right place and you get a cross stitch that looks like a pile of frogs. Follow the recipe using the right ingredients and you get a meal that looks (sometimes) like the picture and tastes better.
Is this really creativity? I mean, anyone can follow a recipe and produce a meal right? Surely anyone with the right training can pick up an instrument and make music?
It’s something that bothers me when someone says “surely it would look the same if someone else stitched it? So why are you so special?”
I’m not, I guess. It probably would look the same. It would probably taste the same if someone else cooked it or sound the same if someone else played it.
But maybe, there is creativity even in following instructions. You still put something of your heart and soul into something, even if you are bound by the constraints of a pattern or musical score.
Some people are able to write brilliant symphonies. Some are able to sing like angels. Some can design iconic buildings. Some can evoke memories and emotions using brush strokes.
Others, like me, can only appreciate those things. And only we can enjoy the music in our heads.
You’re all missing out on some amazing creative talent in my head. Your loss, not mine!