St. Jerome says that a pure wax which is soft and pliable enough to twist into whatever shapes we desire already contains within itself all that can be made from it, even if no one is actually making anything from it at the time.
From “The Book of Divine Consolation” of Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), Meister Eckhart: Selected Writings, selected and translated by Oliver Davies, Penguin Books, 1994, page 90.
Of course Eckhart’s quote refers to a spiritual awakening, that all people are given the spiritual tools to work toward the divine. One could also say that this is true in the act of creation in the arts; that all we need to develop our technique and tendencies toward the divine in expression already exist within us. But the key to the impulse toward action exists within us, too. We choose to create or to not create; to put up personal obstacles (“I’m not good enough,” “no one will care anyway,” “I’m bound to fail,” etc.), or to act in spite of self-doubt and perceived lack of talent and will.
A goal I have as a teacher and artist is to be open and willing to learn and to continue to remold the wax of my personal abilities and talents. In a German sermon of Eckhart’s he talks about the fact that we need a continuous (daily) birth in God (ibid. p. 150). I interpret this in the act of creation to be the fact that it is necessary to get up every morning and rediscover the creative impulse regardless of interior negative dialogues, to enact a daily rebirth of creative development, and to rediscover the abilities that we each already possess, regardless of the outcome.