Since the publication in 1992 of Julia Cameron's creativity handbook The Artist's Way, it has sold more than 2 million copies and inspired people from all walks of life to explore their artistic abilities. Her follow-up book, Walking in This World, offers 12 more weeks of creative how-tos. In addition to teaching workshops and public speaking, Julia is also a poet, playwright, fiction writer, essayist, and journalist. She spoke with Beliefnet about the connections between spirituality and the creative process.
What is the relationship between creativity and faith?
Art used to be made in the name of faith. We made cathedrals, we made stained-glass windows, we made murals. When Michelangelo was flat on his back in the Sistine Chapel, he was in service to something larger and greater than himself. And so artists have always talked about the inner connection to a larger something, and sometimes we call it the muse. But what we are actually talking about is that any time that you are engaged in a creative act, you are engaged in a spiritual act. And that's probably the single most important sentence: Any time we're engaged in a creative act, we're engaged with an inherently spiritual act.
Faith is almost the bottom line of creativity; it requires a leap of faith any time we undertake a creative endeavor, whether this is going to the easel, or the page, or onto the stage—or for that matter, in a homelier way, picking out the right fabric for the kitchen curtains, which is also a creative act. You have to muster a certain amount of belief that you're not making a mistake and you're not a fool. And this means you have to have faith.
Are You Listening to the Great Creator? continues...