How a Quiet Mind Determines Creative Quality

This is a guest post from popular Australian writer Vacen Taylor who’s an author with Odyssey Books. Vacen has learnt a lot about creativity on the journey to becoming a successful writer. Her website ( click here ) is about reaching your true potential and allowing the creative self to flourish.

Here’s Vacen…

I was delighted to be asked by Simon to write a guest post on his wonderful artistic blog. We both have the same motivation – to create something unique.

As a writer my world is filled with stories and storytelling, below is my latest publication with Odyssey Books.

Cover Artwork by Mal Gardiner

On every given day my thoughts revolve around characters willing me to give them life. Facial expressions are added and taken away, transferred or altered until they seem as natural as breathing.

Point 1. I scribe to the rhythm of my writing voice and mine alone.

Many authors, writers or storytellers live with mental noise associated with the creation of any type of project that requires them to take a reader into the realm of escapism.

This creative gift can also be an unsightly hindrance. So finding balance in a writer’s life is important. Well, I think it’s important. I find a gentle calm when I paint.

Point 2. The quietness of the canvas and the ease of the brush strokes provide me with a time of silence.

Painting dulls the mental noise, but still allows me to remain highly creative. While I don’t paint for a living, I do paint to experience the freedom found in a silent mind.

Many writers I know, depending on the genre they write, find the continual hammering of stories waiting to be told very disturbing, and sometimes their stories tap deep into their own raw emotions.

Point 3. It’s like dedicated actors who bury themselves so deeply into the qualities of a character they lose themselves for a time.

In acting, this dedicated technique provides viewers with a more authentic performance and in writing it can do the same thing. Many writers experience what I call “ story rehearsal.” If a story is strong enough it will repeat or rehearse scenes over and over as mental images.

It’s like having a daylight dream in your head that simply will not go away.

Some writers hear characters speaking to them. But writers, like artists and everyone else have lives, past experiences, family upsets, tragedies, joys and difficult times. So finding time to tune out is a real necessity.

Point 4. It’s often difficult to silence an artistic mind filled with stories or images eager to be born.

For me, painting original art provides a creative quietness. I tune out from my writer’s world of mental images, words and characters and simply paint.

I experiment with bright colours, swirls and strokes. I paint what I’m feeling or sometimes where I want to be, which generally has an outer space theme.

One of my very first paintings was “Jupiter” painted in July 1994 when Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 broke up into pieces and collided with Jupiter. The little yellow splash of colour (bottom left) was my corny attempt to create the moment of impact in the painting.

Point 5. Every moment painting transforms a jostling mind into a quiet one.

‘Jupiter’ (1994) by Vacan Taylor Acrylic on canvas 60cm x 60cm

Josh Smith who is a New York based artist described a painting, as an “innocuous quiet thing.” He went on to say about creating an original painting…

“You want the thing to be unfinished. You want the viewer to be able to finish it themselves.”

His words resonated with me on a creative level, because I believe all stories are unfinished. A story of any genre will always have the willingness to continue on with or without the author.

A good example is my new children’s series published by Odyssey Books, . The story has potential to continue on in the reader’s imagination.

When I’m painting, I am the innocuous quiet thing, until the painting is finished and if that gentle quiet energy transfers onto the canvas I am very happy.

If I am to know myself better as an author, writer or storyteller then first I need to be comfortable with the occasional quietness of my mind.

Final Point. A still mind is a free mind, and freedom is a gift that can never be squandered.

Until we meet again… be bold and brave in your field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new creative territories.
Vacen Taylor

© Copyright Simon Brushfield – How a Quiet Mind Determines Creative Quality
About Simon Brushfield

Simon Brushfield is an artist whose work has been described as ‘poetic, enigmatic and dreamlike’ (Michael Berry, "Selected Contemporary Artists of Australia" book). His paintings have been exhibited and sold across Australia and internationally. If you enjoyed this post, sign up to Simons VIP list and have posts sent directly to your inbox.

Speak Your Mind