I have always enjoyed creating things with my hands. It started with the wooden easel I had when I was younger. You know, the one with the chalkboard on one side and the other side for hanging pictures. It wasn't until I entered high school when I began to appreciate the creative process for what it was - messy and a form of release. From then on, painting began to take over my life. It served as an escape from the outside world, and proved to be an escape from the walls of my own mind. I was able to get lost in my paintings, away from all assumption and bias. We're always losing a moment. We're always competing against time. Painting is my attempt to freeze a moment and exist in an atmosphere where I capture a memory, an emotion, or a fleeting feeling.
Not only was painting a way to escape my mind but it also served as a release for my built up emotions. Not to get too philosophical here, but painting is a lot like life. You need to understand when you set out to start a painting that it is a process. Sometimes you may not have a plan but you need to start somewhere - all it takes is one mark - one step in the right direction. If the image isn't coming about the way you imagined, it makes all the difference to pause, reexamine it, and start over. My painting is fueled by my fear, pain, sadness, anxiety, happiness, and love. I aim to transfer these emotions onto canvas and come out on the other side feeling free.
When I'm working in my studio and the creative juices are flowing I enter into what experts call a "state of flow". I have no sense of time and the music playing is simply background noise at this point. This state of flow allows me to paint with my conscious mind turned off. I so casually go through the motions - pour paint, mix paint, dip brush, color canvas, pour water - it happens so effortlessly and there are no questions going off in my head like "does this look good?" or "how is this going to turn out?". This state of flow, this is what painting is all about for me and what I so often yearn for. It's freedom.
You do not have to be a painter in order to achieve this state of flow. It happens naturally when you are doing what you are passionate about and following your own rules. You may have experienced this state before and if not I challenge you to find out what this can be for you. It may be doing yoga, cutting somebody's hair, playing with your dog, strumming that guitar, or going on a hike. Whatever it is, make it yours, let it absorb you because no one else can do it for you.
If you've been lucky enough to find your state of flow please share your experience below and continue to inspire others.