The Ten Commandments of Being Creative
You shall have only one goal
Art, whatever medium, is your goal. You can create. It is your destiny. Your true calling. Yes, you may have a life, but that is secondary a minor inconvenience. Realise your creative potential. Go for it. (OK, you can have a life too, but don’t give up your art for it!)
You shall not make unto thee any graven images
There is no false art. If you are creating something then it is real. If you write you are a writer. If you paint you are a painter. If you take photographs you are a photographer. You may not be paid for it. You may not be expertly skilled in your art form. But you are creating. Your art is as real as the art of anyone else.
Thou shalt not take the name of your art in vain
You need to be serious about this. You must believe in what you do. Your art is a serious business, treat it so. Don’t belittle what you create, however, small and insignificant you may think it is. It isn’t, it is your creation and it is great. Sure you can improve, that’s why you should do your art as often as you can. It is art! Believe it.
Remember the sabbath and keep it holy
Rest. You need to take a break. Have an art sabbatical, be it one day, one week, or longer… or regular micro sabbaths… rest. Art is life, but life needs to breathe. Without life, there would no art. Don’t let the well run dry. Rest, refill and revive.
Honour thy Father and Mother
Those who came before us have gifted to us. The artists who have already created and perhaps are still creating, show us a path. It is their path and they light it. But their light can illuminate our own unique path. Learn from those who have gone before. Thank them for the journey they have taken. Honour those who have arted before thou!
Thou shalt not kill
There is no need to destroy someone else, whatever they have done. However ‘bad’ you think their work or art is, we don’t put others down, we don’t destroy. The only reason to put someone or some art down is to make us feel better. We need to be satisfied with our own art, we don’t need to feel better by putting other art down.
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Admiring someone else’s art is fine. Loving someone else’s art is great. Rejecting your own art, leaving it to wither and die, so you can sit and gaze at what others have created, is not so good. If we let our own art die then we run the risk of dying a little ourselves. Look, but only touch your own art.
Thou shalt not steal
Be inspired but don’t steal. If you must borrow heavily, then credit. Don’t take without asking. The 5th commandment above becomes more of a grey area when stealing takes place, either other people’s or your own art. We can all create. We don’t need to take the art of someone else.
Thou shalt not bear false witness
‘I did this. It was easy. I am a great artist. I write thousands of words of lyrical prose each day.’ Perhaps, perhaps not. If your art journey is difficult then say so. If you find certain paths easy to travel, be honest. If we share our journey truthfully we can help others as they travel, and they can help us when we lose our way.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours art
Admire it. Big it up. Support other artists. Don’t keep their art quiet for fear it will overshadow your own. There is enough room for us all.
A new commandment
There is a golden rule which summarised the biblical ten commandments and we can use that too, with a little adaptation.
‘Do unto other artists as you would have them do to you.’ (That’s you acting first)
Go forth and create!