Creativity Can Only Exist Through Action

Image: Vanessa de Largie
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso ~

Over the years, people have asked me if they should enter the entertainment industry. And my answer is always the same: “If you have to ask — definitely not.”

The same goes for reading and writing. How often do we hear people say: “I’d love to write a book!” or “I’d love to read books but I don’t have the time.”

What a lot of bullshit!

If you wanted to write a book, you would have. If you wanted to read a book, you would have.

The fact is we make time for things we want to do.

None of us have oodles of unlimited time. We all have families, work commitments, study commitments — you name it! But the difference is — creative people find the time.

JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter on her train commute to work. Umpteen ‘NY Times Bestselling authors’ wrote their books whilst they were completing Masters degrees and slogging away at shitty full-time jobs.

Busyness is not an excuse for your lack of creativity. YOU are your only excuse for your lack of creativity.

Vanessa de Largie working with world-famous photographer David LaChapelle on Nokia Campaign 2010.

From my observations. There are 4 types of people when it comes to creativity.

  1. Those who are creative and who execute it regularly and prolifically regardless of the outcome. This lot make tough competitors because they’re continually improving, honing their craft and moving forward.
  2. Those who are creative and execute it sporadically. This lot (in many cases) seem to have more ‘natural’ talent than the #1 group. But they lack the dedication and determination needed to apply themselves. They start projects and never finish them. They have innovative ideas but never follow through. They irritate the absolute crap out of me!
  3. Those who are creative but blocked. This could be for a multitude of reasons. They REALLY want to create but there’s a block and often it’s connected to their practical, realistic and logical personalities. They’ve got a million excuses on why they’re not ‘creating’ and they love to whinge about them.
  4. Those who believe you can be born without a creative bone in your body. These kind of people make me want to stab a sharpened pencil into my eyelids. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You can be creative in how you cook food. You can be creative in how you dress. You can be creative in how you write a text message. All children are creative because they don’t care if they make a mistake — they’re just having fun. But for some reason when we become adults most of us lose our childlike qualities and stop being artistic all together. It’s a tragedy!
Vanessa de Largie being interviewed in a press-junket at the Razor Reel Film Festival in Belgium in 2009.

I personally don’t have an abundance of free time but I always find time to read and write because I love to.

Sometimes I’ll squeeze 15 minutes of reading in during bath-time. Often I’ll get up a few hours earlier to throw some words on the page — even if it’s just a journal entry.

Art and creativity is in ‘the doing’. Not in ‘the talking’ about the doing.

Talking has never got:

Films made.

Books written.

Manuscripts sent to publishers.

Or paint on canvases.

When I first arrived in Melbourne at 22, (by myself, with no money and not knowing a soul).

An acquaintance, who has been one of my best mates for 17 years — Australian actor, Max Fairchild (known for films such as Mad Max 1 & 2, Mad Dog Morgan, Death Of A Soldier, Howling 3, Australian Rules, The Night We Called It A Day and the Beaurepaire commericals) helped me to get my third agent.

Bedford & Pearce represented Russell Crowe and Olivia Newton John at that time. And one of the first things they said to me in my initial meeting with them in 2000 was: “You’ve got to stop calling yourself an aspiring actor.”

Vanessa de Largie: A photoshoot with photographer Andrew Chisolm 2013.

It seems like another lifetime ago now but I was a young woman and even though I had been training since I was a little girl and had done professional acting work in TV commercials. I felt uncomfortable in saying “I am an actor”.

Because at that point in time, I believed you could only call yourself an actor if you were famous like Robert Deniro or Meryl Streep. But considering 99% of actors are unemployed at any given time. If you were to wait until then, you may never get to call yourself an actor, period.

Actors act.

Writers write.

Painters paint.

Musicians make music.

Whether you’re famous or society has given you the stamp of approval doesn’t really matter.

It’s empty and insignificant in the scheme of things.

The question is: Are you being true to your heart-songs?

I am and always have been.

All my life.

I don’t want to die tomorrow.

But if I do… I’ve dedicated my entire life to creativity.

And for that alone — I’m a deeply proud woman.

“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.” ~ Will Smith ~

Vanessa de Largie is an Australian actress, author, journalist and sex-columnist based in London.

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