Week 6: Discovering a Sense of Boundaries
"Creativity requires vigilant self-nurturing. The damaging impact of toxic inflow must be countered and neutralized. This week's readings and tasks focus on helping us to interact with the world in ways that minimize negativity and maximize productive stimulation."
This week really touched a special note with me. In an age of endless free information. Go go attitudes and the crazy that is social media. I struggle. I struggle with the share. to much, too little, not enough, I struggle with the fear of good ideas being stolen out from under me before I even have a chance to processes them. My social awkwardness bleeds through my screen and I can see it's traces everywhere in my virtual travels. I'll say it.... I am not ashamed. I hate social media. Yes I know and have seen it's merits for building connections and all the exposure it can grant. It's pretty rad when gallerist in Hong Kong, Paris, Australia, London, NYC and Prague are following you on Instagram. There is an impossible reach that is so easily attainable in this digital age. It has given artist more opportunities than were ever possible before, Wi-Fi was on practically every corner. Yet I hate it. The constant need to keep up. To keep your audience engaged. It is so tiresome. It takes away from exactly why I am here.... Art and it all comes back to 'The Work". The work is what truly matters. Nurturing it, breathing it in to fruition and being diligent about it's preservation and exposure in the wide world we live in.
So I am taking a step back. It makes sense seasonally as the passing of the equinox marks a great turning in. Retreating into ourselves. The sweet slowdown, full of comfort freely given to your soul and your work. Everyone is always asking about my work "Human Form" or what is on my easel or in my sketchbook or rattling around in my brain at any moment. I am going to hold my work tighter from now on. Until I am truly ready to let spread it's wings and go wherever it sees fit. Yes, I might lose followers? My resume my even be sparse this next year as I take a step back. In an effort to make my work "The Work" priority. I have a feeling though that it will be well worth the perceived casualties.
Week 7: Discovering a Sense of Momentum
"Creativity thrives on small do-able actions. This week dismantles procrastination as a major creative block. The readings and task aim at a sense of personal accountability and accomplishment. the key to a creative life is sustained, consistent, positive action. This is possible for all of us."
I appreciated this week because it addressed the obsessive love in making. That it can pull you in and take everything from you, like a love affair. Leaving you burnt-out, sore and parched unable to work for weeks on end. Slow and steady Julia suggests. I have been practicing this for the past couple of years but it is always good to have a reminder. For the past several weeks I have been redoing the parlor and yes I am burnt-out and the project is so close to being complete. Throwing myself all in and expending so much energy especially in the beginning, has me withering here at the end. It will get done cause that's how I roll. I have diligently trained myself to push through the pain & discomfort, In hopes of a nice reward. In light of my recent undertaking and more projects planned for the near future, Julia's insights and nudge towards ease does it is appreciated.
Here is a little sneak at the Parlor
Here we are entering week 8. It's clear I have been slacking on the blogging home front. I haven't spoken to Miss M in two weeks and I am feeling not only like a bad Walking in This World partner but also like a bad friend. Life has taken some interesting turns and sucked up much of my time and energies. I haven't done a single morning page in way too many weeks to mention. While I have done Artist Dates, I didn't last week and my walks have fallen off the radar. I know I have a lot of things on my plate at the moment and am trying hard to be gentle with myself, in light of all my shortcomings this past month. It is hard when you have perfectionist leanings. I tell my kids all the time it's about their effort not the outcome. So this week, Week 8 I'll be reminding myself that it is about the effort, the journey not the outcome or the destination.
Week 8: Discovering a Sense of Discernment
"This week poses a challenge: Are we actually able to go the distance? To answer in the affirmative we must learn to keep certain demons at bay, most notably success., "the unseen enemy." The readings and tasks of this week aim at naming and declawing the creative monsters that lurk at higher altitudes. Anger in a frequent companion of this week's explorations. As we unmask our villains, we often feel a sense of betrayal and grief. This is replaced my a sense of safety as we name our true supporters more accurately."
Am I actually able to go this distance? I can say Yes, but there is this tinge of doubt, worry, fear. That despite my best efforts, my all in attitude, a diligent work ethic and brilliant ideas spewing from me like a firehouse. I just can't or just won't, for a number of countless reasons I can pull out of thin air. Self-doubt is human and Artist in my experience have a particularly complicated relationship with is. We are asked to question ourselves to improve our work. To always be evolving pushing ourselves just a little bit further. But it can quickly get out of control. She touches on success being an enemy. I witness it in Artist around me and myself. Letting success go to your head can and does kill good work. Incase you haven't gotten it yet. It's about the work. That is why I am here. Why we are here. To make and partake in good work. That gets lost in all the noise of success and keeping up and so many other things, that Julia reflects on in her Artist Way series. I watched a Netflix film over the summer and I just loved it. Every bit of it. "The Incredible Jessica James" There is a part towards the end where she meets one of her idols a Tony Award winning Playwright. Jessica ask her "When did you know that you where going to make it?" The response to this question could not be more perfect. "It's really more about like what does theater actually mean to you?" Jessica "I just love it." "and your doing it. That's why we are here, right? This is it! There's kinda not more to it than that." Ahhh there it is. It has been an always will be about the work.
Hoping this week will be fruitful. It should be interesting to see where this week leads. Especially with all the things swirling around in my universe right now. Wish me luck!
May your heart be light, your hands never idle and your mind inspired