Creativity: Process or Product

I’ve always loved the work of the artist Yves Klein. The blue he created, now known as Yves Klein Blue, is so intense and beautiful and profound and bright all at the same time that it always just shoots straight to the heart of me. I’m touched by this color, and thus by the man and his work.

YvesKleinsquareProcess versus Product

Reading this quote this morning, I was reminded of the struggle that I think many of us face, which is finding the balance between our creative process and the product we produce through it.

We are all in the world to produce products, and we long to see them enjoyed by other people. At the same time, if the work we produce in the world  comes at the cost of the process, if we don’t fully experience the creation itself, then our measure of success rests only on what other people think.

Creativity exists in both the creative process and the products we produce through it. The cycle is not complete without both. This, I believe, is why so many of the people I speak and work with are frustrated. Either they are so focused on making a living that the work they long to do never gets done. Or they produce the work but no one is buying it.

Both are Required:

  1. We need to make space in our lives to listen to and honor our creative longings.
  2. We need to continue the process until the someone is touched by our work.

Believe me, this takes much more than inspiration. It takes courage and diligence and years of work. It also takes presence and allowing and trust. We do the work for the work itself. And we keep doing it until it reaches others.

What Needs to Shift?

So I’d like to ask you today to think about Yves Klein’s statement, and  leave a comment about how you interpret these words for yourself. What, for you, is the right relationship between your creative process and the products you produce? What needs to shift in your life to bring the two together?

I look forward to reading what you have to say.