The Creativity Within

By Joan Skolimowski

I can remember being 21 years old, visiting Florence and really knowing nothing of great art. I stepped into an enclosure within which was Michael Angelo’s “David.” Astonished, emotions rising within me, I could only cry at such beauty and magnificence.

After seeing many great works of art, how could this person, me, be one of such creativity? And that is the secret. One cannot compare or try to match some other creative work with one’s own work; one needs to allow creative energy to blossom from within. I did not know how to do this. I had not been to art school nor studied art history. But I loved art: in museums, in nature’s unique and unsurpassable expression . . . in all manifestations.

I was taking a pottery class and really struggled with the ‘wheel’. Okay, I wasn't very centered. For the last class, I decided to ‘make’ something. I took the clay to a table and discovered my hands knew what to do. I just let creativity ‘create.' That was the very early beginning of becoming a sculptor. I just let it happen.

Years later, I met an artist who was teaching "the art of mandala," and the artist sensed it was my calling as well. Gradually I came to comprehend the journey of creativity from within and out to expression in any art form. As my perspective grew wider, I came to appreciate that we all have creativity within us — all of us. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they have this impulse.

I felt a sense of compassion to help people discover this. The Art of Mandala serves this purpose. It also helps students feel and sense the depth within them from which creativity emerges. 

It has become an honor to be a midwife to creativity emerging.  For creativity brings both joy and personal meaning to oneself.  It has nothing to do with personal acclaim. Rather it is an affirmation that there is joy, meaning, and creativity within us all.  Creativity is this rare expression of human energy in which ordinary reality is transformed into a magical process to astonish and delight.

Joan Skolimowski studied Spanish and psychology and has an M.A. in Early Childhood Education. She has also studied sculpture, and has been sculpting for the last 24 years. She has been teaching the Art of Mandala over the last 15 years in Europe, India, and the U.S. She has been offering this course at VEO Art Studio for the past two years. She can be contacted at

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Posted on May 10, 2015 .