Look at the following:
These are all by an artist named James Castle (1899-1977), and I discovered him several years ago through a review of a retrospective of his work at the Art Institute of Chicago. Very elemental, masterful stuff.
James Castle was born deaf; never learned to read, write, or sign; never left his parents’ farm in IDAHO; did all his work with WHATEVER HE COULD FIND, including, for his drawings, SOOT AND SPIT.
THIS MAN DID HIS DRAWINGS WITH SOOT AND SPIT.
Color? “Unknown source,” but probably SQUEEZED FROM MUSHED-UP COLORED PAPER.
HE MADE BOOKS. On found paper. Newsprint left over from someone’s typing lessons. Cardboard boxes. Leftover twine.
HE MADE SCULPTURES out of whatever the hell he could find to hand.
It's very easy to get depressed looking at work like this. Nothing I’ve done, nor am like to do, has even one-tenth the power of the works of James Castle. He was seeing things I don’t see, hearing things I don’t hear, walking paths I have no knowledge of. He did this in Boise, Idaho, alone, starting in the 1920s.
However, that's not really the message we should take away from this kind of outsider art.
First of all, it's as clear an indicator as there could ever be that we as humans are born to be creative.
And secondly, even if you think you're not an "artist," could you not spit out an ABORTIVE ATTEMPT just to see if you could, like James Castle? What's the worst that could happen? You might make art?
Make the Thing That Is Not.