The Artist Within – A Guide

A New Source of Creative Inspiration

MAt. Fox Creativity

Read this quote and then imagine how excited I am about Matthew Fox:

“Whether our species is sustainable or not depends on our wrestling creativity back from the brink of its demonic potential (the word demonic is pretty strong, but it refers to the ability of our creativity to produce destructive results as in the case of our environment).  To move our Divine powers of creativity from serving the demonic to serving the Divine is to move from art for art’s sake and art for advertising’s sake.  Art for the sake of planetary health and well being.  Art for celebration’s sake.  Art for building bridges sake.”

What this means is that all of us who would say, “I can’t even draw a straight line” need to replace it with: “I AM CREATIVE.”  It is realizing that our creative abilites are what we are dependent on to solve the problems around us, not just what produces pretty pictures and objects of art.   If we shrug off our creative ability we are, in effect, saying “I can’t make a difference.”  If that was the pervasive attitude we would be a global community that is “giving up.”  THAT is NOT what we are doing.  We are GOING TO create SOLUTIONS, rather than more problems.  We are NOT going to shy away from challenges, but rather CREATE opportunity.


Fox says that since we have surrendered so much of our creative powers (to a capitalistic society, to the TV, to virtual “realities”), that we are suffering.  I also speak of this in my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.   Fox and I BOTH write about the fact that not that long ago, as a species, we personally CREATED everything we ate and wore, the home we lived in and everything around us.  Not only has it not been that long since we were responsible for all of these tasks, but that we had been doing so, as a human species, for AT LEAST 77,000 years before that!  This is a very new thing, our feeling of creative inadequacy.  We have become a consumer society.  As a result, we have weakened our individual creative ability.  It is time to build it back up!

To take it back, we HAVE TO become CREATIVELY FIT.  Just like a muscle, your right brain, where your creative abilities lie, can be developed.  Just as you can strengthen your right bicep with bicep curls and then use those new, stronger muscles to life other things beside a 5 lb weight, you can strengthen your creative muscles by doing creative activities (my Creativity Workouts in my book) and then use that same creative ability to create more sustainable business, better education systems, or solutions to any type of problem you face! 

Here is an example of a “Creativity Workout”:

4th journal page mandala

Here is another one:

5th journal

You can peruse more “Creativity Workouts” in the GALLERY on my website: or keep up with my own Creative Fitness regimen on my facebook fanpage:

Start thinking about your mind as muscles.  If you feel you “are not creative” it is truly that your corresponding mental muscle is simply out of shape.  What Matthew Fox is proclaiming is that the future of our species depends on us harnessing our creative powers to create positive change.  Fox cites psychologist Otto Rank who proclaimed that our greatest sense of pride comes from that which we create. 

So, not feeling optimistic, excited or INSPIRED today?  Create something, anything.  Create a fabulous meal that you will take pride in, create a letter to an old friend, create order in a cluttered closet, create marks on a piece of paper, create a collage filled with images of things you love.  GUARANTEED you will feel optimistic, excited and inspired when youa re done.  It is the way our minds work.  It is the answer to the challenges we all face.

Go to to learn more about his work.  This is important, my friends.  Really, really important.  Happy Sunday!  ~Whitney

2 Comments so far
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“We cannot not create.”

Hear me out – you’ll see that we agree.

By definition to create something is to bring something into existence. Therefore, by definition we are all creators.

Your example of people who say they can’t draw a straight line is slightly based on a faulty premise (on their part). The premise being that they believe that in order to qualify as a creator (or as having creativity) they must be able to draw a straight line. No, the fact that they draw anything at all is proof they are creators. The line didn’t exist – they drew (straight, crooked, curvy, whatever) – the line exists: therefore, they are creators.

Through much observation, I have come to see that what has happened regarding the subject of creativity is that most people have joined creativity and artsy type things together. Meaning, they have concluded that one must have artistic abilities in order to be creative.

But that simply is not the case. Everyone creates. The quality and esthetics of their creations are another subject all together, but the fact remains that everyone creates. The truth is “we cannot not create.”

I think that what Matthew Fox is attempting to describe is the quality question of what everyone creates. Some use their “Divine Powers” and create demonic creations, and others choose to use those same powers to create masterpieces that inspire, uplift, and bless the world. Both are creators that create creations.

I think that overall our society is ignorant as to exactly what those “Divine Powers” truly are. And in that ignorance most relinquish their power to create to default paradigms learned by an ignorant society.

If more people, like you, understood the wonderful powers we have to create amazing creations our world would be a much more beautiful place – not just in art, but in business, in relationships, in politics etc., and as Matthew says healing would happen in our lives and culture in a profound way.

But sadly, most do not know they even have the power to create. They don’t think they are artistic, so they don’t think they are creators, so they don’t even try to create amazing creations. That is where the demonic creations happen – I call them creations by default, or creations by apathy or ignorance.

It really makes me sad that more people don’t recognize how powerful this stuff really is. As you say, it’s really, really important.

Thanks, for your insights. Glad to know there are creators who recognize their potential and that are using it to the fullest. Keep on creating creations that inspire!

Comment by Michael Claridge

Michael, I am so sorry I have not commented on YOUR comment until now. I loved it! thank you so much for all of the thoughtfulness. The subject of creativity IS widespread right now, but it does not seem to have yet taken its proper place as it is going to be the element that saves us, to be blunt! Happy NEw Year to you! Where do you live? Creative wishes, Whitney

Comment by Whitney Ferre

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