CREDOS: Creativity — I

Since the publication in 1992 of Julia Cameron’s creativity handbook, The Artist’s Way has sold more than two million copies and inspired people from all walks of life to explore their artistic abilities. Her latest book is Walking in This World. She spoke with Beliefnet about the connections between spirituality and the creative process.

What is the relationship between creativity and faith?

Art used to be made in the name of faith. We made cathedrals, we made stain-glassed windows, we made murals. When Michelangelo was flat on his back in the Sistine Chapel he was in service to something larger and greater than himself. And so artists have always talked about the inner connection to a larger something, and sometimes we call it the muse. But what we are actually talking about is that any time that you are engaged in a creative act you are engaged in a spiritual act. And that’s the single most important sentence: Any time we’re engaged in a creative act we’re engaged with an inherently spiritual act.

Faith is almost the bottom line of creativity; it requires a leap of faith any time we undertake a creative endeavour, whether this is going to the easel, or the page, or onto the stage or,

in a homelier way, picking out the right fabric for the kitchen curtains, which is also a creative act. You have to muster a certain amount of belief that you’re not making a mistake and you’re not a fool.

And this means you have to have faith. —