It’s so easy to shut down the artist in you at this time of year. We box away our artistic imagination, tape the lid shut and leave well alone until Christmas and the New Year are over and done.
Then the majority of us jump on the crazy merry-go-round of shopping, visiting, eating, drinking and partying, and the general joyous giving and receiving that takes over our lives.
The whole festive period tends to become an artistic and creative black hole.
Now that’s what I call a missed opportunity.
Because if you take a step back and really start looking you will see our world and the people in it living in an altered state of being – a kind of collective madness where behaviour, taste, emotions and expectations are dramatically skewed.
If you are from a non-Christian background I’m sure you spotted this a long time back, as have many brought up amid it. So how can this strange time of year inform your art? And no – I’m not suggesting you simply add tinsel.
I have no idea how you personally might use this festive input, and let’s face it – the excesses of the Christmas period are at least as prominent as the joy and goodwill. Your inspiration might well be anything but joyous.
Here are a few ’subjects for observation’ that may fire your artistic imagination.
- Yourself, your family and friends
- What you love doing – your favourite bits
- The stuff you can’t stand: double standards, cynicism and insincerity, for instance
- The stresses and strains
- The commercialism
- The religious messages (whatever your take on them)
- The curious iconography (Christmas trees and Yule Logs both predate Christianity, for example)
- The excess and waste (which also predates Christianity)
- Other people’s perspectives and experiences of Christmas
- The genuine spirit of goodwill and joy
What you make of this strangest, most beguiling time of year is your choice. But don’t miss the chance to let the festive extravaganza shade your art and your inspiration.
For me this is simply the season of goodwill and joy with my family. I’d like to wish you all the joy and goodwill of the season.
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