Artists are open to the world around them. That openness allows them to see, hear, and feel things that may go unnoticed by others. It allows the creative space for observations and ideas to develop with artistic outcomes that are often surprising and unique. They literally get caught up in the material, the idea, the sound, or the feeling and become fully absorbed in the process. The openness to the world around them puts them in a position to take full advantage of their creative imaginations.

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.

~ John Cage

Edgar Degas La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans cast in 1997 by M.T. Abraham Center - Provided by copyright owner of both photograph and artwork. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Degas La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans cast in 1997 by M.T. Abraham Center – Provided by copyright owner of both photograph and artwork. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Degas created this sculpture called La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans (The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer) out of wax. Not only is wax an unusual choice of material for the time, but he dressed the figure in a real bodice, tutu, and ballet slippers, and it has a wig of real hair. He covered everything, with the exception of the tutu and hair ribbon, in wax. The choice of wax and real clothing and hair allowed him to best represent his impression of what he saw and sensed in the face and body of the dancer. His openness to see and feel the movement of the body along with his eye for the psychological complexity of his subjects gave him the creative space to make a piece that is extraordinarily life-like.

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Creative space gave Simon Beck the inspiration to create enormous works of snow art by walking across the terrain in snow shoes. He climbs further up the mountain when finished to photograph the immense patterns that are often short-lived installations because the winds blow them away. After each snowfall, Beck designs and redesigns his incredible patterns over and over on the same site. He sometimes spends nine or ten hours at a time making the patterned tracks. He produces meticulous mathematical patterns that have different effects when viewed from various vantage points in the changing light throughout the day. Check out this video—The Amazing Snow Art of Simon Beck—that describes the process of his creative work. As many are dealing with record snowfall and perhaps the aggravation of shoveling out of our driveways, Simon Beck thinks of the accumulating white powder as fresh white art canvas.

When you have a blank piece of paper you draw on it,
so drawing on a blank snowfall seemed like the natural thing to do.

~ Simon Beck

Creative space is available to all of us.

  • Be willing to work beyond boundaries of tradition or what is most familiar.
  • Slow down and become absorbed in the process.
  • Pay attention and notice that life is constantly presenting us with new information

Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera.
A oneness with your world is your film.

~ Ansel Adams

Just as it does for dancers, singers, painters, and other artists, making an effort to allow creative space in your life and work experiences will produce amazing results and benefits that might have previously been unimaginable. As Julia Cameron says, “We press into the unknown rather than the known. This makes life lovely and lively.”

— Pat

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