Art is about “We,” not “Me.”

Do you ever feel hesistant or uncomfortable about sharing your work in a public forum? Here’s a possible reason why – you don’t want to attract attention to yourself. Here’s how to take your “Self” entirely out of the equation.

In this vision, I really FELT myself and my work as belonging to the community. Can you close your eyes and imagine this for yourself?

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Cultivating Inspiration

One key to supporting healthy, productive innovation is stimulating inputs.

I think it’s funny when people say they are “waiting for inspiration to strike.” My experience of making art without ever suffering through an artist’s block is that you must commit to working regularly and cultivate inspiration much as you might cultivate a garden.sitspot_chair

If we want to stimulate creativity it’s helpful to take note of what inspires us and make it a priority in our lives.

For me that can come in many forms such as of gardening, walking in nature, meditation, looking at other art, dancing or listening to music. Have you ever left a wonderful exhibition and could hardly wait to get back into your studio?

Have you ever taken a nap to solve a creative problem? I keep a futon in my studio and take naps when needed. Frank Lloyd Wright, Joan Miró and Buckminster Fuller were all known to be nappers. studio-futon-nap-spot

Meditation can work in a similar way. By releasing the day-to-day drool of the mind (What should I make for dinner tonight? Did I remember to pay the water bill), we can clear a space for more expansive thoughts.

I’ve called meditation the express highway to creativity. The fact is we are all enormously creative, we just need a way to clear the mind clutter to access the portion of our mind where our inner genius hangs out. That’s why I start each session of the Mindful Artist Master Class with a guided meditation (recorded so you can listen to it at any time in the future).

Other times, it’s not emptying our mind needs but stimulation.

Once I was on an artist residency in a remote area on the Northern California coast. The foundation served only one artist at a time so as to minimize contact with the outside world. There was no internet, telephone, TV and no recorded music was allowed. And outside of minimal contact with the caretakers, there was no other human interaction.

While this was lovely and fulfilling for days, after about a week or so I began to feel a bit listless. Generally, I feel replenished by all the time I spend alone. However, there is a balance of too much time alone and I had exceeded it for the first time EVER.

I learned that connecting with other is something that fills me up and leaves me inspired to create.

Have you thought much about what makes you feel filled and ready and eager to make art? Please respond below!

Suggested homework:

  • Make a note in your journal of 5 things that help you feel juiced up to create.
  • If you haven’t done some of them recently, set an appointment in your calendar – a date with your creative self – to do one of these things in the next two weeks.

 

 

 

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