An Empty Canvas: Inspired by Ann Purcell

blank canvas image

Reading the book, The Power of Transcendence has me reflecting on creativity. Everyone has imagination, but so many people let it go dormant. Ann Purcell gives her insight on the creative process in Section 2 of the book. She discusses “The Blank Canvas.” Before anyone creates anything, they have a blank canvas in front of them. Those with inactive or active creative potential may stare at it blankly. How do we bring the canvas to life?

Purcell quotes, “A painter begins his painting with a blank canvas and a writer with a blank page, right? Wrong. A painter or writer begins his art from within.”

The Power of Transcendence Book Cover photo Purcell correctly states that creativity comes from within yourself and through silence. Sure, people, places, experiences, and things inspire us, but we must put it out there. By being quiet and not focusing on daily tasks or lists, you can find your creative zone. Through self-awareness and tapping into deeper levels of consciousness, creativity flourishes. Finding the proper outlets to channel creativity produces meaningful work.

We all have creativity within us, and as carefree children, we had time to channel it. Many adults, 75% according to a 2012 Adage global study, view themselves as non-creative. An article from 2018 by Inc. features a study stating that adults are 96% less creative than when they were a child. I think people fail to see their creativity or feel like they don’t have the energy to create. I do not limit creativity to art, writing, or music. I see things like holiday decorating or cooking from scratch as creative feats some can’t tackle. 

I have always found writing to be therapeutic and often have solid ideas when I sit in silence. Purcell discusses tying together emotional, intellectual, and creative traits to produce your art. Sometimes, I have abundant creativity and can’t keep up with all my ideas. I will write on pieces of paper, type notes on my phone, or record audio messages for myself. Sometimes creativity comes calling, and I am busy fulfilling obligations, so I need to capture it quickly. Some thoughts I return to, but it may be years later. Some ideas sit tucked away. Maybe one day, I will revisit these strings of words. 

During my creative process, I have to cut out all distractions. Ideas and thoughts elude me when I encounter interruptions. People unaware of their creative potential do not understand my methods when I write. I can’t get them to see how I create or bring out their potential. Like Purcell says, “creativity comes from within.” Being creative takes work, discipline, and practice. Working on personal or professional projects requires solitude and silence for me. Some people’s creativity sparks when listening to music or spending time with children. While both may inspire me and give me ideas for content, they can’t be around when I am writing. 

I agree with Ann Purcell’s views on the power of silence when creating. I will turn my phone off or on “do not disturb” and immerse myself while creating. I turn the sound off even on my laptop, so I don’t hear any sounds. Also, only you can unlock your creative potential.

What does your creative process entail? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.