All Of The Above: Why you don’t have to choose one art form 1

Are you right-brained or left-brained? Scientific or artistic? Introverted or extroverted?

It’s normal for us to compartmentalize, to think in terms of “right or wrong,” “black or white,” “either-or,” “left-brained or right brained.” After all, the ability to quickly categorize information and then act on it is an important skill. But sometimes, we unintentionally lock ourselves into a particular way of thinking — it is resistance to this very tendency that gave birth to the popular and overused phrase “think outside the box.”

Just as we define the world around us, we define ourselves. You might view yourself as kinesthetic” or “visual,” “emotional” or “logical”. But when you define yourself as one thing or another, you naturally make choices that align with that definition and exclude other possibilities. For example, if you define yourself as a visual/spacial person, you might conclude you should be an artist or an architect and put aside your desire to write — or dance. Similarly, if you define yourself as a verbal person, you might see yourself as a writer or teacher, leaving your art behind. This inclination to define everything, to put things in neat little “boxes,” can be detrimental to your overall creative expression because it leaves out other, complementary aspects of your being.

What if you could define yourself as “all of the above?” Most of us are not really limited to one art form. Yet, in our world, we are expected to work as if we were. We paint, OR we photograph, OR we dance, OR we write. And if we want to make a career in any one of these fields, we are told that we have to make a choice, stick with it, and market ourselves accordingly.

The truth is, you don’t have to choose between your different forms of expression. You CAN do it all. One solution is to bring your creative work together, to marry the verbal and visual: the dance of the painting, combined with the voice of poetry, the photograph capturing the emotion of the story you’ve just written.

With the expansion of online forms of media, multimedia venues are also proliferating. These are venues where video can marry the visual art of paintings to the voice of poetry, writing can be photography’s companion, and quilting and storytelling are equally celebrated.

And, when you bring together your various talents and ways of creatively expressing yourself, you allow your imagination to expand, your muse to reveal herself in different ways, and your ideas are suddenly fresh and innovative. Life can be “all of the above.”



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