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What Blocks Peoples' Artistic Ability?

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of December 25, 2006






Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2


This Week's Questions


[posed by Austin S. and David A.]
  • What Layers are people in when they create art?
  • Is the completion of a piece of art, an "emergence?"
  • Do most injuries in and around art happen to children before age 7?

Do you know?



I feel my pencil dance around the page of my sketchbook creating lines that my eyes trace. My hands sing as the form of a person, the folded collar of their shirt, and the zigzag shape of their hair, emerges upon the page.

[Question 1] What Layers are people in when they create art? Is the completion of a piece of art, an "emergence?"
[Answer]
What layers is a person in when creating art? The assumed answer is, either Layer 9, or Layer 10, or both. In truth, though, this depends on what the person is creating. For instance, say the person is creating an anti war poster, such as this one by Denis Kriuchkoff, from Flora-A, Balakovo, the Saratov Region in Russia.

stop war

The choice of the child photo? Layers 9 and 10? The choice of the "stop war" font. Perhaps, Layer 2. The red around this text and the blood on the child? Probably Layer 4. The black background? Perhaps, Layer 8.

peae poster

This one, though, is called a "peace poster," and while it obviously is rooted in the same anti war concerns, this artist's work has emerged from totally different Layers. The bird? Perhaps, Layer 7. The weapons. Maybe, Layer 2. The poop? Certainly child like. I'd say Layer 7 again. And the text? Perhaps, Layer 3?

As you can see, even simple art is a complex endeavor, as far as the personality of the artist goes.

Finally, you ask, "Is the completion of a piece of art, an emergence?" Absolutely. Realize, though, that some art is never finished, perhaps because the artist quit before the emergence. And great art, such as the paintings of the masters, probably contains multiple emergences.

[Question 2] A block in and around art that I often hear said is, "it just doesn't look right." Are there common injuries and blocks in and around art? For instance, do most injuries in and around art happen to children before age 7? Can recreating the scene of an art injury, by setting up an art class with paper and drawing materials, like pencils and markers, help people to find, and heal, their blocks in and around art?
[Answer] Several questions. Several answers.

Are there common injuries and blocks in and around art? Austin, I'd say, yes, albeit, this is only an educated guess. Thus, like there are proprioceptive injuries common to most humans, such as the fear of falling (which babies do not arrive with, but acquire later), I'd guess there are also art related injuries common to most humans as well.

In addition, visual art requires an educated eye, just as classical music requires an educated ear. Thus, what is blocked and what is unknown likely interact and create very complex disconnects. How could you tell these things apart? One way would be to view a sequence of many styles of art and notice if there is anything you hate. Hate the art? A block. Can't understand the art? A mystery. Sense beauty but it still doesn't look right? Perhaps an uneducated eye.

Do most injuries in and around art happen to children before age 7? Yes. Most blocks, including those we incur in and around art, occur before we reach age seven. Why? Because all blocks originate in the Inner Layers. Moreover, after seven time is an Outer Layer experience, and young children do not have the Outer Layers.

Can recreating the scene of an art injury help people to find and heal their blocks around art? Definitely. In fact, I've posted just such a story on the site already. It's titled, Kevin's Story. In it, I used the Emergence "P" Curve technique to help a forty something year old man uncover a life long block in and around drawing itself. This block had occurred when he was six, and it came up decades later only because he had been struggling to create a new logo for his new business.

Ultimately, we discovered, this block had poisoned his entire love of drawing. As well as his ability to try new things in general.

[Question 3] I have seen the Bernie Book, and as a financial planner, I know it works. As the artist for this book, Austin, why did you choose to not draw faces on the people in the book?
[Answer]
Not being Austin, I can't speak for him. However, as one of the three co creators of the Bernie Book, I can say we discussed doing this before we finalized the design. Mainly, we saw this as leaving room for people to co-create the Bernie art themselves, sort of like what happened with old time radio shows, wherein peoples' imaginations completed the scenes.

bernie book shopping pagebernie book cover bernie book phones page

In reality, the faces in Austin's drawings were based on real people, Bernice on one of Austin's friends, and Bernie on Austin himself. However, by omitting the facial features, we felt we would help people to be more connected with less chance they'd be keyed.

[Question 4] I ask because this lack of faces in the Bernie Book disturbs me. Does this happen because I can't picture a face in its place? Does that mean I have a block about drawings of faces? Or a block about drawings missing faces?
[Answer]
Do these faces disturb you because you cannot picture the faces? David, I'd say, this is probably true. Moreover, without sitting with you in person, I'd be hard pressed to even venture a guess as to what this might imply.

Certainly, you must have at one time experienced a startling scene, one wherein peoples' faces were blank. A horror movie? A Twilight Zone episode? In truth, it could be anything. Even a nightmare you once had. And if you consider what I said in the previous answer, this likely happened to you before age seven. Which, in effect, makes finding this scene a bit hard to do. Not impossible, certainly. We Emergence Practitioners do it all the time. But tough to do by your lonesome. That's for sure.

The good thing, of course, is that you have absolute control over your being exposed to this key. Thus, you could use Direct Emergence to heal it, even if you never do recover access to the wounding scene. Just remember to ask someone for help with doing this though, as you never know what threads of similarity may connect from this to other, more significant wounds. Thus, a competent guide can raise your chances dramatically to recover the coexisting threads.

[Question 5] When I was in first grade, I remember sitting next to another student named John. I was amazed at how well he drew. Although all we used were crayons, he drew as well as an adult. He had incredible fine motor skills. As I watched what he created, I looked and compared his work to my drawing. I could not understand how he created such images, or how he developed his talent, or eye for colors. Was he born with this talent? Were they gifts? Was he somehow taught? Can a person such as me learn to draw? Do I need to heal my injuries around drawing to be a better artist? Can I ever be as talented as that classmate John? Or as talented as Austin Shaw?
[Answer]
You've asked a lot of questions here and we'll address them in a moment. Before doing this, however, I'd like to comment on your opening statements. You say,

When I was in first grade, I remember sitting next to another student named John. I was amazed at how well he drew. Although all we used were crayons, he drew as well as an adult. He had incredible fine motor skills.

Dave, know the assessments you make here are likely not based on what you felt at the time. Why not? Because you voice these assessments in an adult's language. "Incredibly fine motor skills. As well as an adult."

Six year olds do not speak like this. Nor do they even know what these things mean. My point? Something wonderful must have emerged in you in that moment, something which lives inside you even now. You sound like you very much admire artists. And what they do. Now your questions.

Was the boy born with the talent to draw? Was this a gift, or was he somehow taught? I, myself, do not know how it could have been anything other than both; a gift and being taught. I'm sure, in fact, that even if he was born with a gift, that someone has to have exposed him to something which made this love of drawing emerge in him.

Can a person such as me learn to draw? I'd say, yes, however, I also believe talent plays a part. So, would there be limitations to how well you could do? Yes. More important though, I think the thing to keep in mind is that, while you probably could overcome many of these limitations, the time required might be prohibitive.

Do I need to heal my injuries around drawing to be a better artist? This one is easy. Yes.

Can I ever be as talented as that classmate John? Or as talented as Austin Shaw? As Austin? No. As your classmate? Probably. Is any of this really important? No. Only that you get to pursue something your heart told you long ago to set aside.

David, perhaps you might ask Austin to help you to reawaken your love of drawing. He's love it. And you'd love it.

Now go and draw something.


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