There are undoubtedly many advantages one can contemplate if they chose to have some form of creative outlet. The painter of the fine arts seems to be the most noticeable of these and has led to volumes of writings on just this one subject. The subject is actually moot and advantages applies to any form of creative endeavor. Drawing, sculpting, writing, ceramics, jewelry making even a very popular craft nowadays such as paper crafts. I mention paper crafts because my home which is actually my wife and I’s home has a room devoted to her paper crafts. She enjoys this tremendously and can usually be found in her craft room surrounded by a plethora of colors, design tools and as far as I know every known item made (I say while rolling my eyes) when it comes to creating paper crafts. So, does any and all forms of creative ventures have advantages? You bet they do.

When I speak of “advantages” it must be put into some context. It is an advantage to do maintenance on you automobile regularly but that is not the advantage I am speaking of, I would actually consider that just common sense. Let’s consider the advantage that in one way or another enriches our everyday life. This is the basic goal of art and creativity. An outlet of awareness may be another way of thinking about it. Take a nature photographer for example. Yeah I just randomly chose a nature photographer;) What advantages would they have?

Obviously I chose nature photography due to my personal experience with it. There are many times when during the day I will have an uneasy feeling. One of possible confusion as to what I need to do. More than likely we all have a great list of things that need to be done. Around the house, personal desires maybe even the dreaded work thing we should spend time on. These don’t seem to go away and priorities should always play into the actions we chose at any given moment. Time restraints as well play a big part on what we chose to do next. If you are somewhat like myself I will always try to find a way to play before I find a way to work. Is that a bad thing? What if our play has direct positive effect on our work? Would it not then be an advantage to play before we work? In my mind yes, it would.

Recently that feeling of slight confusion of what I should be doing crept into my mind. It was late in the afternoon about 2 hours of daylight remained. My first inclination was to keep myself concentrating on the work at hand. This being making prints, completing a booklet, start on my next folio, making cards and a few other goals I have and need to complete for the upcoming Kansas Sampler Festival this May. I have mentioned this already in some of my journal entries and will be writing about it much more I am sure. It is taking up much of my time and that is great with me. The feeling of making progress towards a goal is always a good thing. Priorities have been laid down for this goal along with a time frame of completion. As you can tell there is still plenty to do to complete this over the next two months.

I stood around for a few moments trying to decide what to do next. I glanced out the window and like most times when I look outside the outdoors looked wonderful. A few breaks in the clouds, somewhat mild temperatures and my mind began to clear. I need to go out and explore the land. Within 15 minutes I was on my way down the road to a nearby area of the great outdoors. I no longer had a confusion of what to do next. The only question was were to do it.

I have given myself the liberty to play first and work second. Of course certain things can and do determine if this actually happens or not but, given opportunity I seem to favor the play option first.

Within 30 minutes the need to complete the before mention goals no longer were present in my mind. I was hiking around a nearby lake looking and thinking at one thing, nature. How wonderful it was to be out in such a wonderful place. Being late winter some might think the land would be barren of beautiful sights. I have never found this to be the case. Any time of year there are great things to see, fun places to explore and surprises around every corner. The best part of this whole need to create is the freedom is gives to ones mind. It’s like everything that you look at raises the question, what if?

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© Brad Mangas

As I hiked around the an old abandoned road I noticed this somewhat gnarly looking oak tree. It actually jumped out at me like a bolt of lightning! Wow, what a cool looking tree! The streaks of white clouds and blue sky behind it helped in grabbing my attention. The more chaotic the branches looked the more it seemed to resonate with me. This confusion of branches suddenly make perfect sense. Within chaos there is still an order to things. An order that fits every situation. One just needs to have an open mind and willingness to see it.

What if you gave yourself the freedom to play, the freedom to see and create order from things even if at first they seem confusing. Would it help in the goals you have set? Could it be the source of great inspiration that we all need? To open ones eyes to the possibilities is to open your mind to the great things that lay ahead. All you need to do is be willing to except the creative advantage.

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