Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.*
Ultimately the goal is to have everyone in the company begin to think like a designer: to question traditional practices and ways of doing things to envision new possibilities, to be able to express and share those ideas, to collaborate within teams and begin turning the ideas into realities.**
These two quotes don’t use the word ritual but in reality they are jam-packed full of them.
Artists and designers shake up the way things are with their imaginations – and we’re all artists and designers. Those imaginative possibilities need vessels to bring them into reality: rituals.
It’s the necessary thing I am becoming more and more aware of when it comes to the work I engage in with people towards identifying and developing their talents and abilities.
(By the way, this is something I am trying to make available to those who are being made redundant as they come to the end of the furlough scheme – please share with anyone you know kin this position, especially the young.)
Rituals help us to get things done, imagination keeps these fresh through introducing the new. Jordan Peterson captures it well here:
Meaning is the ultimate balance between, on the one hand, the chaos of transformation and possibility and on the other, the discipline of pristine order, whose purpose is to produce out of the attendant chaos a new order that will be even more immaculate, and capable of bringing forth a still more balanced and productive chaos and order. Meaning is the Way, the path more abundant, the place you live when you are guided by Love and speaking Truth and when nothing you want or could possibly want takes any precedence over precisely that. Do what is meaningful, not what is expedient.^
I’ve lost count of the number of times I have come across this same idea – Christian Schwarz‘s dynamic and static poles, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi‘s need to explore and need to be secure, and Friedrich Schiller‘s material and formal urges being just three.
These rituals will be different for each of us – the best are those we create for ourselves – but each will have within them the danger of turning stolid. This is why we always need to be feeding our imaginations, but imagination without ritual lacks corporality and too much of that will only leave us jaded.
You’ll have rituals that you’ve introduced to your life that are there because they worked. Name them and shake them up with a little imagination. See how different even a small change will leave you feeling and you’re back with what is most meaningful to you, the art and design you want to bring into the world.
(*Seth Godin, quoted in Ben Hardy’s article These 20 Pictures Will Teach You More Than Reading 100 Books.)
(**From Warren Berger’s Glimmer.)
(^From Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life.)