So What Are You Going To Do With It?

So, what are you going to do with it? This was a question put to someone I know wanting to try their hand at painting. The person asking the question did so because he knew someone else who had a cupboard full of paintings having not sold any. Isn’t it strange how we always put an economic label on things we want to do.

So, what are you going to do with it? Do we always have to do something with it? Do we always have to think practically and economically when wanting to do something? Isn’t it possible to simply enjoy the creative experience in doing it? Of course it is. We’ve just lost that ability.

If you had asked Van Gogh that question, who by the way never sold a painting, he would have looked askance at you. More than most, he lived in the fire of creativity for creativity’s sake.

No doubt the practical mind is a real gift, but it has this tendency to sometimes get in the way of our creativity, especially if creativity is always reduced to having to be practical. So I’m not denying the importance of practicality, but lets also learn to be creative simply for creativity’s sake. It might just bring greater energy and meaning in to our living.

Oscar Wilde put it too harshly for me, but I get his meaning in his words: “The word ‘practical’ is nearly always the last refuge of the uncivilized.”


About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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12 Responses to So What Are You Going To Do With It?

  1. Love this, Don! Thanks!


  2. lyn Stephenson says:

    Not surprising Don when we live in a world which is ‘goal orientated’ and ‘purpose driven.’ Doing something for the simple pleasure of doing it, is perhaps a foreign concept to most people.

    I think those activities which are not a means to an end bring the most joy into our lives, because one can participate with a sense of freedom and enthusiasm, which is probably when we are at our most creative.


    • Don says:

      Love what you say Lyn, especially your last paragraph. That kind of experience is foreign to people, which is so sad. So much of our worth and identity is built on what you say in your first paragraph. In that kind of atmosphere to speak of a different way just doesn’t make sense. Again, it’s so sad.


  3. Terry Ann says:

    I try to explain this to my students often – you’ve said it so simply Don, I’m going to print this and put it up in my studio if you don’t mind.


    • Don says:

      I admire you for that Terry. If your students can begin to grasp that, then you’ve done a great thing. Please use the post as you please. Not sure what you teach. Is it pottery?


      • Terry Ann says:

        yip – pottery – one of the hardest medium’s to control and predict – too many variables – so CREATION is something we deal with every time we open that magic box called the kiln.


      • Don says:

        Sounds exciting – I bet you all have a ball. Thanks Terry Ann


  4. ladyfi says:

    Hear hear! I love being creative for its own sake.


  5. Fergiemoto says:

    Yes, why not simply enjoy the creative experience! I do that often.


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