Road to the Altar of Creativity

Spontaneous Red | Rod Jones Artist

Road to the altar of creativity. I married creativity— not in the literal sense.

It happened on the altar of nature where the vows were taken, when I was still a young lad. I know it was between the ages of five and seven. I do not profess this to be an experience unique to me. I know that we all come to our own self creative realizations. I have been interested in learning the paths that others have taken to discover that creative flame that burns within.

“It all started with my first box of crayons.” 

When I hear this, my first thought is “How lame.” But now that I have matured as an artist, and come to know that maybe there is some truth to that first box of crayons statement. I don’t know about you, but as I went through school, my earliest recollections are of the teachers, trying to get us kids doing creative things. You have to be pretty forgetful not to remember fingerpainting. How joyous was that delightful process of smearing different colors on a piece of paper, knowing that you could not make a mistake? The teacher would compliment you, while she was peering over your shoulder, and she would say. “That is very nice Rod, I really like how you used red and green together, makes me think of Christmas. How wonderful.”

I was born in a small town in the mountains. I’ve written about this before regarding my earliest impressions of what was going on outside the window from my crib. As I matured, I perpetually had communions with nature. For some reason everything I saw spoke to me. I guess you might say, these visually stimulating and emotional connections resonated to the core of my soul. Still do to this very day.

How did you discover you had a deep desire to be creative? 

I have heard others flippantly say; “Oh, I guess I was just born that way.” Well perhaps there may be some truth to that. But it sure helps if you have some guidance and understanding from a parent or mentor. Children that are voracious readers can and do become celebrated authors. Kids that play with computers and video games can and do end up creating stellar apps and games. Young boys and girls who were forced to play an instrument when very young, have become renowned violinists, concert pianists, concert masters and composers. Two of my favorites are when youngins favor the careers of country music songwriters and singers. Another great favorite of mine is when children grow up and become great jazz musicians and composers. Our futures are generally not easy to see, especially when you’re trying to forecast what your children will become. One thing for sure we all pray that they will be happy in whatever honest course in life they take.

It’s fun to discover and listen to how creative people got started; how they became so passionate about various artistic endeavors. You will hear stories about highly successful creative people and all the challenges they faced. Sadly, starting with well-meaning loved ones, like parents who persistently told them to give it up, “There’s no money there, you’ll starve, who do you think you are, no one in our family is creative why do you think you are?” I could go on and on because ironically enough, I have heard many people share this kind of story; in fact you can watch many movies or documentaries about the pressures people faced as they worked their way to living and fulfilling their dreams. I’m sure you know yourself, how you were cursed with self doubt, mostly inflicted upon you, by others.

I was lucky! My family was pretty much supportive of anything I wanted to do. They were just happy, that I was happily, trying to make something out of myself. I had the freedom to express myself in building things, Tinker Toys and Erector Sets started the process of three-dimensional and abstract thinking. Young girls at that time had the benefit of imaginative play and storytelling.

The enchanting road to the altar of creativity started with my deep and passionate kinship with what I saw around me. There was the seeing; color, shapes, and nature’s incredible ability to compose everything in sight. There was hearing nature’s symphony of the melodical tweets, chirps, kaws and sometimes irritating screeches, brought to you by birds of every shape, color and size. Angry skies that light up with bolts of lightning and raptures of deep bone shaking thunder. The rolling hills and peaks covered with vegetation, numerous species of trees and lots of undergrowth. Different plants that yielded edible treats, like berries and one of my favorites was Miner’s lettuce. You could drink water out of the stream and not come down with Giardia.   I suppose at the time, it was my own Garden of Eden.

When you are a child, you are blessed with the capacity to be in wonder of everything you see and hear. Some of these discoveries can leave a profound impact on how you view the world. And yes, some of these discoveries can set the stage for future anxieties in life. I personally believe that the good we see, gives us the opportunity to become healthy and well-adjusted human beings. If you are lucky enough to be encouraged by a loved one or mentors, to explore the sights and sounds you encounter through the early years of your life, then you may be setting the stage for many opportunities to achieve wonderful creative outcomes.

I stand before you as one who was, and still is very blessed. I marched up to the altar of creativity, the road to get there really wasn’t all that complicated. It required a sense of wonder and exploration, both within and without. It’s easy to give nature all the credit for my education in becoming sensitive to what I see and feel around me. But I give myself credit for showing up, and walking down that road to take my position at the altar of creativity I called nature.

It doesn’t really matter how old you are this very day. Everyone is creative especially those who seem to deny it the most. By asking them a few simple questions, they quickly discover through the answers they put forth: “Yeah— maybe I am more creative than I thought.” I can see it in their eyes, and the shift in their mannerisms. They become self-aware. Looking at themselves with revelations of their new prideful discovery and realizing that they are creative too. I often hear people say; “Oh, I remember when I was younger and I loved to play actress, and I was always singing; but I haven’t thought about that in years, but I do remember what joy and happiness it brought me back in those days.” Of course there are many creative passions that get lost along the way. Give yourself permission, and seek out those lost creative desires, and by all means give them the nurturing they deserve.

Give yourself a history check, look back through your life, you will discover that you were oftentimes being very creative, in the way you thought and how you positioned your goals. Rekindle that spirit; if you are not living and expressing creativity, take a long walk in solitude and preferably surrounded by nature’s energizing beauty. Much can be discovered just by having a moment with a flower, whether it be in the field, your backyard or any nursery. Give it a good look, immerse yourself in its delicate beauty and color, and you may even discover some of those miracles of life, give off fragrances that could never be manufactured by us humans.

A flower garden. I know two beautiful ladies from London that I met on Instagram. They post pictures of various flowers blooming, on and around their garden. They often describe what you’re seeing in their posted pictures. I genuinely love their passion and the clarity when it comes to their understanding of just how precious a gift of flowers can be in our lives. It’s easy to complement them on their posts. I especially enjoy the fact that they post pictures throughout the seasons of the year. The British people love their gardens and perhaps are some of the best gardeners around. These two beautiful and knowledgeable women have a keen sense of just how a garden grows. But more importantly how a garden can make you grow inside as a human, just by being a part of the gardening process.

If you’re reading this and you’re not living the creative life. I invite you to explore your most inner feelings, and take your own road to the altar of creativity. It will be ceremoniously one of the most pivotal choices you make in your need to achieve some inner peace. It will help you cast out the anxieties that we all unfortunately inundate are everyday thoughts with. Give it a try, the road is never busy; in fact, the road embraces all that choose to stroll along its path of discoveries. There are many altars along the way, take your time and experiment. This is not a busy thoroughfare. It’s a slightly overgrown dirt road providing the traveler with every opportunity to awaken creativity. Perhaps you are already a creative person, this road can reawaken you.

The altar of renewed creative expressions, is a place that has no boundaries or judgments. It welcomes all those willing to be revitalized and refreshed. It cares not where you’ve been. It’s a place to wed your innermost self, to your own innate ability to perpetually be creative. The road to the altar of creativity, is a wedding waiting for you.