Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Filling the Creative Well

My son, Cameron, just graduated from the 
Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts. 
The program boasts alumni such as Zac Efron, Robin Williams, and Kathy Bates to name drop a few.

Oh, look. There's Cameron now as Pericles, in Shakespeare's Pericles Prince of Tyre.

Besides overt parental bragging, I wanted to share with you the concept of the creative well that Cameron learned from one of his amazing acting teachers.

Our creative well is what we draw from when we create art, be it acting, painting, writing...

It is important to acknowledge the well is not a source with an endless supply. Not only that, but you as the artist are the only one who can fill it.

Art isn't created by just those moments when you sit alone in your artistic space. It's born from the marriage of external inspiration and internal creativity. 

As an artist, you must identify what nourishes and keeps your creative well brimming with the raw material necessary for your creative process.

Is is live theatre? Movies? Poetry? Sunsets? Music? The Beach? A hike? The forest?

You must stay connected to the world you are trying to reflect with your art.

For me, it's live theatre. It's the world I'm from and a world I need to stay in touch with to maintain artistic motivation. I just saw a performance by the national touring company of Porgy and Bess. The experience was as close to being in the presence of artistic perfection as I've ever been. 

My well runneth over with inspiration. 

What fills your creative well?


  1. Yay for your son! He's adorable! I'm glad you enjoyed Porgy & Bess. The artistic people I know often excel at several art forms. I was a professional dancer before I became a singer and now am a writer. I was also a costume designer in there somewhere! lol

  2. I don't get to see enough theater. I used to act, too. I don't want to brag, but my freshman year in high school, I was part of the crew that won the state one-act competition. I killed it...staying pretty much perfectly still as the Grim Reaper in John Wells' Competition Piece.

  3. Congratulations to your son!
    Movies and music do it for me.

  4. Wow, congratulations to you and your son! And this is a great reminder, and so, so true. Many things refill that well for me, and they vary - but in general, exercising outside (especially hiking or running), reading a beautifully written book, and looking at favorite paintings really help me.

  5. Congrats to your son! That's hugely awesome :)

    Movies are a big one for me. I feel super refreshed after a really good show and some kettle corn :) Since I'm a homebody, in an odd way I also feel rejuvenated after going to parties or other social events.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

  6. That's awesome! Acting is so competitive, it's very impressive when someone does really well at it. I have a feeling he'll go far.

  7. Yay for Cam! What a huge accomplishment for him. I MUST see him in something!!

    Totally agree about filling the well. For me it's reading and watching movies. Bonus: that's considered work for writers :)

  8. That's wonderful about your son. I need books, movies, and music in my life. They give me a zap of creative energy that sustains me in many tasks.

  9. Ah, that is so cool about your son, Leslie! Musical theater is a huge recharger for me as well. (Unless I'm directing it, then it's a high followed by a massive exhaustion crash. ;) Looking forward to an amazing summer season at our local professional venue.

    I've also taken up tangle art (my teen daughter is really into it.) It's so healthy for my mind to make art just for fun with no thought of "will this sell?" I'm fighting against perfectionism, but that's why it's so good for me. :)

  10. So fantastic about your son! Books, movies, TV series, quite chats with daughter are some of the things I need!

  11. I love live theater, too. There's something so exciting about participating in a live production. I've been on both sides of the proscenium arch and I'm not sure which side is more fulfilling.

    Hurray for your son. You have a right to be very proud,

  12. I was in a Shakespeare play too. Fun times!

    I surround myself with the best sci fi and fantasy I can find. That usually keeps me informed on what's hot and how I can approach stories in a fresh way. :)

  13. I vote we all move to an artist commune together. Thanks to you all for the sweet comments about Cameron - he says thanks!

  14. Life!!!

    And very impressive on the alumni! Congrats to your son, Leslie.

  15. Music. And teaching.
    Learning new things via the senses...
    Actually lots of other little things...

    Congrats on your son's achievement!

  16. What a great post! Congrats to your son! :)

    I loved all the nuggets about creativity! I think music and drawing are my wells. I love to sit and draw because it calms and motivates me. It really gets me ready to write. :)

  17. Congratulations!
    And I love the creative well idea. I find long walks really conducive to replenishing the well.

  18. What I love about theater is that each performance is original and can never be repeated! Well theres many other things i love about it too. I actually wrote a paper on it and am using some of it for one of my characters who loves theater! Have you seen Shakespeare High? I love what you shared here: "It's born from the marriage of external inspiration and internal creativity."

  19. Great post, loved the creative well idea!

  20. That's awesome! You must be SO proud! I'd love to see the look on your face. :)