Art by Valeri Gorbachev from the October 2007 Cover of Ladybug

The Art of Letting Go

The creative process begins when the artist forgets himself and becomes the work. That is when the magic happens. It is an integral part of every artistic form of creation; theatre, music, dance, writing and art.


Art by Chip Ghinga

Art by Chip Ghigna

My son, Chip Ghigna, is an artist. He paints pictures with paint. I am a writer. I paint pictures with words. My wife, Debra, was a dancer. She painted pictures with movement. The three of us discovered early on that to create our best work we must first be true to ourselves — and to our art. We learned the art of letting go, to let go of ego and let the painting, the poem, the dance take hold.


In his poem “Among School Children,” William Butler Yeats wrote about how the dancer becomes the dance by asking the rhetorical question “How can we know the dancer from the dance?” When the dancer is true to the dance, the dancer and the dance become one. We see the artist in the painting, the poet in the poem, the dancer in the dance.


The creative process teaches us the art of letting go. It teaches us to let go inside, to follow our natural instincts and trust our sense of wonder. It teaches us to savor the joy of each new discovery and to celebrate with all our might. It teaches us how to identify the creative force that stirs within us, how to nurture it like a child, and how to finally let it go so that it may take on a life of its own.


The artist learns that he is not in search of something greater than himself. He learns that he is a part of the search. He learns that following the search within and letting it go, so that it can communicate with others through images, words, music or dance, is the greatest gift he can give to the world — and to himself.


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Art can move us to question and examine, to ponder and celebrate, to see and feel and understand ourselves and the world around us beyond what we thought possible.

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To the artist who thinks every piece of art must make a statement.

Art does not have to make a statement. Art is a statement, a visual statement of what it means to be alive.

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The Magic of Making Art

Make Art Because You Love To

Make art because you want to, need to, have to!


Paint What You Feel, Not Want You Think

Good art is intuitive. Feel it. Follow the feeling.


Creation Does Not Come From the Outside In

Art comes from the inside out. It is already in you. Let it out.


Paint Fast and Fearlessly

Your brush is an extension of you. Use your whole body, not just your arm and wrist.


Forget the Color Wheel

There are no primary or secondary colors. There is only color. Make your own.


Put the Critics on Mute

Art is a silent visual song. Turn off the chatter. Listen to your own music.


Good Art Takes Time

Take time to make good art.


Charles Ghigna - Father Goose®Charles Ghigna – Father Goose® lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and as a nationally syndicated feature writer for Tribune Media Services. He is the author of more than 100 award-winning books for children and adults from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., Abrams, Charlesbridge, Capstone, Orca and other publishers. His poems appear in hundreds of magazines from The New Yorker and Harper’s to Cricket and Highlights. For more information, please visit his website at