Being my field of interest, I’ve read many a commentary discussing the “arts.” Most expound to a degree upon the singularity of the medium. For example, to write proper poetry or construct a novel, or churn out a short story, one must have the “soul” of a poet or a novelist, or a short story writer. A composer of music must have the proper “ear.” A painter must be able to see with his “mind’s eye.” And so on and so on.

But, be it a painting, a sculpture, a novel or a short story, the process of creation is remarkably similar; much more so than most—especially those in the profession—would have you believe. The “soul”/ “ear”/ “mind’s eye” is really nothing more than a desire to create—a yearning to fill what was previously a void with words, or pictures, or sound. And from this yearning comes the quest for the idea that will spawn the art—a product that often bears only a superficial resemblance to its inspiration.

In all mediums, the process of creation is often a series of recreations. A composer, for example, might begin with a simple tune that he then grows into a symphony, often losing the original theme along the way, or retaining it only in vestigial forms. The painter might begin a sketch that bears little resemblance to the finished painting. A writer may allow the characters to push the narrative away from the original plot. A rhyme may morph into a haiku under the poet’s pen. But always the drive to fill that artistic void continues.

And so the process of recreation continues until at some point the artist feels the piece is actualized; that it has reached its finalized form. This does not necessarily imply complete satisfaction with the product. Most artists will tell you they are pleased with their work…and they usually are—to a degree. Artists in general chase perfection, and because perfection in the real world is rarely obtainable, they are rarely completely happy.

Universal truths which apply to all of the arts, no matter the medium—be it children’s literature, a painting of moon monsters on mercury, or a poem about Aunt Brenda’s cat.

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