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  • Writer's pictureScott Brennan

What's the collective noun for a group of creatives?

I like collective nouns. One of my favourites is a "murder of crows" but there are others that are less sinister like a "scurry of squirrels." Have you heard of a "misbelief of painters?"Apparently it referred to portrait artists who were paid by wealthy patrons to make them look better than real life, a sort of medieval selfie with filters.

I've spent the last three days with a collective of creatives. Artists, woodcarvers, musicians, writers, spoken word performers. They were all exploring alternative forms of worship in one big room, all at the same time. So I painted while whistles and fiddles played Scottish reels. I stood next to three other painters as people sang, others danced, people knelt, some were silent. It was an incredible immersive experience and it released a lot of creative energy. It reminded me of a Scottish ceilidh with different people bringing a talent to the occasion.

On the first night there was so much energy in the room I painted something I called Abundance. It was like a pond surrounded by growth reaching to the heavens.

I found painting in this creative environment exceptionally easy. It was as if something had been released in the atmosphere by a collective group of people all seeking the same goal?

Over the three days I painted for hours. I had energy and inspiration. It felt like waves, so much so I painted three small canvas' of waves and left a fourth one blank. Earlier in the day someone had said to me "I have tried to paint but it isn't coming to me." So I reserved the fourth canvas for this budding artist and coached her to join the flow of what I had already done.

Her painting was the final one, and with a little bit of direction, it fitted perfectly.

This confirmed to me that in the right environment, with the right encouragement, it is possible to tap into a creative spirit that is perhaps deep within us.

Over the three days I painted a tornado and I painted a tree. I painted one of my favourite subjects, a seascape. They were all done on large canvases yet they came easily to me. Is it any wonder that if you combine vision and unity you can achieve so much more?

If you have the equivalent of writer's block or artist's lack of inspiration, I suggest you take part in a collective approach. The word 'inspiration' is actually in-spirit-action and sometimes that spirit comes in the presence of many voices, many artists, a congregation of creatives, ah there you go, I have found my collective noun.

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