Dust off your Creative Muse

When times are difficult, Artists need to get busy. As Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison wrote, “There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” And heal we must to move forward. That’s life.

Creative people; artists, writers, sculptors, musicians — are the historians and diagnosticians of our time. Through their work, creatives provide a variety of narratives on current events — their fingers, minds, and creative instincts are on the pulse of our collective zeitgeist. With their creations, they set the stage for healthy, robust debate, and provide the space for a dialog about that which is working for us personally, culturally, politically, and globally.

Artists are ostensibly free — in our society, at least — to examine the good, the bad, the abhorrent and the admirable. They address the politically correct as well as the body-politic gone astray. Artists and Creatives examine the middle-ground, the background and the foreground of life. Thank God for them, because with their bold explorations and interesting examinations, Creatives shine a spotlight on situations, people, and ideologies that help to serve the greater good, as well as those that do a disservice to it.

We need creativity now more than ever. We’re a divided nation. We’ll need creative thinking and artistic narratives to help us find harmony again. As Celso Sanchez Capdequi stated in his article, The Challenge of Creativity, “Artists have become models for action.” Our creative community flexes its muscles by providing us with provocative song lyrics, pertinent essays, novels, blogs, and compelling non-fiction.

While thoughtful, nimble, creative thinking is the backbone of business – it is also the launch-pad for innovation and the exploration of new horizons. When we release our creative muse, we are happier; our lives become more captivating, fulfilling, and absorbing. We make discoveries, and we are not afraid to venture into the unknown.

I am a creative — a“maker.” I’m a glass-blower, a jewelry designer, a writer and a philanthropist. While l feel lucky to be making a living whilst engaging in something I’m passionate about, I also take pleasure in using my artistic expressions to advocate for the betterment of humankind — specifically, in my case, I work for gender equality, and more opportunities for women and girls.

Unleashing our creative urges during times of chaos is particularly important. The expression of different opinions, and the suggestion of alternative modalities of change can be experienced via a variety of mediums. People absorb information via multiple venues, and who is to say which avenue might spark the most actionable new ideas?

Chihuli Gardens in Seattle

My own art is perhaps not the best example of provoking societal change, as I tend to create glassware that is functional — I think beautiful, albeit unusual, and my jewelry pieces are all individually unique, with a nod to the beauty and longevity of our planet via my use of gemstones — all thousands of years in the making.

In my own way, I’m making a statement about our planet and its beauty; about the benefits of protecting nature, while at the same time, enjoying the organic and natural elements around us.

In my writing, I speak to the issue of self-worth and esteem, equality for women and girls, and teaching lifeskills of respect, kindness, wisdom, strength, financial acumen, compassion and equanimity. Needless to say, I’m fully engaged in the goings-on of our government, and how the choices we make affect girls, women, families, and gender equality.

We need to get creative to move beyond grief and despair, to avoid stagnation and ambivalence, and rise to meet the challenge of the day. I look forward to hearing from our change-makers and artist-activists — to listening to more songs, reading more essays, books and blogs, and viewing the multiplicity of artistic outputs of the Creatives in our midst as they grapple with our new reality. Not only to find ways to describe it, but help mold it into something all of us can participate in.