• Jessica James

How Life Can Create Art - And The Unexpected Pursuit Of Creativity


“Happiness is such a good state, it doesn't need to be creative. You're not creative from happiness, you're just happy. You're creative when you're miserable and depressed. You find the key to transform things. Happiness does not need to transform.” - Marina Abramovic.


Marina Abramovic is an artist. I would embarrass myself to define her any further. Immerse yourself in her work, words - life - and you will understand why that is so.


A few years ago I shared a house with a heavy metal drummer. Weed smoking, artisan. I was enthralled by the smoky haze he lived in, dreamy, whimsical, but still human. Sometimes we had these moments of incredible conversation on the front porch. Legs lazily draped over crumbling old arm chairs. He shared Abramovic’s biography with me.


I remember spending a string of sunny days, devouring each page of Ambromovic’s book with such hunger. Her words answered questions I didn’t even realise I had and showed me the possibility that others minds were similar to mine. Seeking to create from the pain of life. I could not imagine the advice art teachers were allowed to tell us at 17 years old would be that maybe the reason your art isn’t good yet is because you haven’t experienced enough pain.


Could they have suggested, "Not inspired to create? Forget about it, instead go and fall in love, go and attempt an impossible goal, go and fail...Then you will create."


Life will flourish and happiness will ensure, after the darkest and seemingly never ending nights. The cynical art teachers, they were the ones that cut through to me. Backhanded encouragement, always questioning. But that is what I learnt through life to be the cause of creation.

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©2020 by Jessica James.