23 Apr 2014 / by Johnny Buffini / in Be Yourself
7. Artist (From The Abstract Family)
What do Martha Stewart and Albert Einstein have in common? They both have the ability to take an abstract thought or concept and turn it into reality. Martha Stewart is an entrepreneur of creative expression. Her fundamental gift is leveraging and building on creative ideas by demonstrating how to bring them into reality via her television program, magazine, products, and books. Albert Einstein used his incredible imagination to seek an understanding of the relationship between time, mass and energy and quantified it in the famous formula E = mc2. His Theory of Relativity revolutionized the laws of physics. He imagined an abstract concept and formulated it to develop the basic building block of nuclear energy.
We might still be in the Dark Ages without artists, inventors, architects and writers. Where would we be without them to distill the worlds of natural and created beauty and catch the subtleties of life; to illuminate the marvels of thought with inventions, graphic art and the written word? They are the inspired, brilliant ones who reinvent the world. Ironically, the abilities that focus on the invisible have the most dramatic and enduring impact on our world. Turn on a light; ride an elevator; hum a tune; read a life-changing book…and you realize the effect of the abstract abilities.
One of my longest friendships is with Annie. She has the gift of celebrating and capturing beauty. My world would have far less color without her. She peels away the layers of reality for me and illuminates the joys, complexities and subtleties of life. She is always interesting and fun. Annie loves to hunt for antiques. Her two homes cannot contain all her romantic treasures, so she has made her hobby work for her by reselling her antiques through Internet auctions! Artistic abilities can be a lifeline, especially when life is heavy with reality. Annie rescued me when I was mired in writing this chapter. She’d been rummaging in an old bookstore and found a tiny book on the joys of writing. At the time, writing was decidedly not joyful for me! By giving me the little book, she helped me break through my writer’s block.
It’s difficult to define the Artist. How much does your soul weigh? This is by far the family whose characteristic is hardest to nail down. Its undefinability helps to define it. All Abstract abilities are sensitive to environment, and this sensitivity can be to relational, experiential or physical aspects. Because Artists have this sensitivity, they assume others see what they see and feel what they feel. They can become frustrated when others do not appreciate their expressions of this characteristic. Their frustration gives rise to the term “tortured artist”. An excellent example of this is Michelangelo, whose frustrations in painting the Sistine Chapel are documented in The Agony and the Ecstasy.
Where the Justice was intense and dramatic, the Artist from the Abstract family is introspective, subtle and profound. It is extremely important for anyone with this attribute to have an outlet for it. Remember, abilities do not die; they wither and create a throbbing hunger. The key for the Artist is to create something, a physical manifestation of the attribute. It can be a book, a work of art, a structure or an atmosphere; the form is secondary to the need. Creating a physical acknowledgement is essential to achieve a sense of completeness. Without a vehicle for substantively expressing this attribute, the Artist can suffer a bout of abstract constipation.
This attribute is not often discussed in common culture because of its subtlety. Evidence of it is everywhere, but in unsubstantial forms. You can’t weigh or inventory the breeze caressing your face, but you must acknowledge its existence.
When unrealized, the Abstract attribute provokes a quiet, soulful frustration, a form of loneliness. The unrealized creative potential of an individual with this attribute can be particularly toxic. When realized, however, the concept, the idea, the creativity being brought into reality brings tremendous personal reward. Unless this ability is actively used on the job, creative pursuits outside the job will be necessary. It is vital for Artists to reward themselves when they meet a deadline, finish a project, or start on a new one. That may mean taking an art class or writing a poem. Engaging this ability prevents the atrophy that comes with disuse.
Artists need to reward themselves to nurture themselves. They don’t do well with harsh realities. They find the routine activities of their job dull and boring. For example, the paper-pushing aspects of their daily jobs can be highly toxic for them.
Artists have to find their platform while moving forward in other areas of their lives. Otherwise, they may use their Abstract ability to weave a tapestry of inconsequential imaginings. There are philosophers who won’t move forward in their lives because they read their ancient dissertations over and over again for the sheer joy of it. By not leveraging their other abilities, they create toxic environments for themselves and those around them.
Getting out into nature is highly stimulating for those with an Abstract ability. Fellowshipping with nature is important to them because they experience the rush of creation, perfection and symmetry. They are speaking the language of the gods.
This is the attribute most likely to succeed in mirroring back their creation to the Creator. This ability can fast-track into the soul. We need to celebrate them more. People with this attribute are valuable in our lives because they help us all to appreciate the beauty in everything, they make our world more enchanting.