Years ago, when I began teaching, I had a problem with structure. I wanted to have classes that were free and spontaneous, where everyone could express themselves. I experimented with having a class that was a “loose” as possible, but I quickly discovered that completely unstructured classes wouldn’t work. There’s something to be said for having a strong container.
It’s like that in our daily lives too. When we cook soup, we need a sturdy pot. If we raise a family, we need home that’s safe and has a good foundation.
We also need a strong, supportive container if we want to create or express something new.
A container is a foundation, something that holds us and holds our projects. We have lots of them–our homes are a container of course, but also our family relationships, friendships, and neighborhood and community groups. Our work is also a container. Strong, sturdy containers can nurture and support our creative inspirations. When we don’t have a container, we have no support.
In The Everyday Work of Art, Eric Booth writes, “The work of art is any process of becoming concentric with some inherent truth and pull things into some order; it is the process of organizing truth around a personal nucleus.”
In order to “pull things into order,” we need a container.
I like to think of containers as being a nurturing and inspiring. The things that form the container for my own creative work include browsing through art and design books, cafes, art festivals, and fun clothing shops, like (Anthropologie).
For creative work, our container is not only external, it’s also internal. When I attend to and nurture my creative experience, I am building my container.