Autumn Splendor Pastel over Watercolor
“Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.” Albert Einstein
In 1910 Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung proposed the theory that there were two personality types, introvert, and extrovert. Most people however have characteristics of both. They are not wholly one or the other, instead they fall somewhere in between Jung’s two types. This is known as ambiversion. Ambiverts, have a balance between introversion and extraversion, with either tendency becoming more dominant depending on the situation. If you weren’t sure which way you leaned, the pandemic made it pretty clear to most people. Some embraced the solitude while others went a little crazy.
I would say I lean more to the introvert side. Not that many people see that side of me since I have spent most of my life engaged with people in the field of education. Now I cherish every alone moment I can get. I am very comfortable being with myself. Most of that time is spent in the studio, garden, or writing.
There are certainly advantages to both, but introverts are often overlooked because they are more reserved. However, studies show there is great value in being an introvert. Introverts are used to following their own ideas. They are seen as being independent. Because so much of their energy is turned inward, introverts rarely get bored. They are reflective and take time to analyze a problem. They do not rely on outside opinions.
Because they are not vying for attention and looking for the next opportunity to talk or be noticed, introverts pay attention to verbal and nonverbal communication. Their strength of reflection and observation also enable them to be more aware of their own reaction and feelings. They tend to be expert deep thinkers.
Creativity flourishes in solitude. With quiet, we can hear our thoughts, we can reach deep within ourselves and focus. The best art is created in solitude, for good reason: it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul.
Picasso said: “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some it is a blessing. To others a curse. The ability to reach inside ourselves and drag forth from our very soul an idea takes quiet introspection.
“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May
If you are an extrovert, you have had an advantage in most Western societies. The stereotype of a successful leader is dominated by extroverted characteristics. You have probably had a good social and professional network. But take time to embrace your inner introvert. It has served many great artists well.
However, Ambiverts we must be. Since we need to tend to the business side of art, we must leave solitude behind and embrace the extroverted side of our personality and engage with our perspective clients.
Stay safe. Carolyn