Making murals during Graphic Facilitation or Graphic Recording is a unique blend of listening at the 30-thousand foot range as well as deep in the weeds for the details. I have to remain neutral and not filter the speaker’s words thru my own opinions; rather capture them as spoken.
And put this together in an appealing way to both the right brain (aesthetic) and left brain (organization), real-time, in the moment.
To do so I must disconnect, and consider myself a kind of tool that you as the speaker are using to magnify, focus or clarify your human voice.
Painting is a similar experience. Except that instead of being the channel to share other people’s ideas, discussions or knowledge, I’m being used directly by spirit.
I do not know where the paintings come from; ideas simply come to me, sometimes at the oddest times and places.
The ancient Greeks believed that inspiration (which they also called enthusiasm) came from the Muses, inspirational goddesses and gods of literature, science and the arts who were considered the source of all knowledge. More modern interpretations of “muse” refer in general to any person, place or object that inspires an artist, writer or musician to create.
It’s possible that there are specific spirits speaking through me at different times, wanting to be articulated out on the canvas; an ethereal version of my human speakers who want to be given voice on the paper mural during Graphic Facilitation.
So why do I paint? Simply put, there seems to be a deep need to express my spirit. Some of this occurs at the mural wall, but it needs to be balanced by authentic emotional expression at the easel, which is without any words. Simply strokes of paint on the canvas that come together and form an image.
It’s all right brain, intuitive.
Well, mostly. The logical brain kicks in when trying to figure out how to create a certain effect, of depth in a landscape for example. But even then, it’s minimal. The more I can tune into my intuition and allow it to flow, it seems the work comes forth with more joy and less effort.
I think this may have been what George Bernard Shaw was referring to when he said “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Have you experienced being used by spirit in your own work (whatever your work may be)? Tell us about it in a blog comment below!
Also, check out a previous blog post I wrote about creating intuitively vs logically.