Welcome to my blog series “From the inbox” where we tackle those mindsets and
issues that hold us back and keep us from living creatively. Enjoy!
“I really don’t get your art.
Why is it so weird?
You call that art?”
Hello dear friend,
First off, thank you for your honest and frank appraisal of my art. I appreciate the reminder that once in a while that – with all the effort I put into creating and sharing – that my art will not be pleasing or relatable to everyone.
If I’m being honest with myself and you, my dear reader, there was a time in my creative life where I didn’t relate to my own art either. I’d work and work (and rework) pieces of art to no avail. I’d be unhappy with my paintings every time I got to the end – so much so – I remember one particular day, out of frustration and anger with myself, that I threw my paint brushes down and stomped my foot on my canvas.
“I’m not an artist. What am I thinking?” The thoughts I had about my own art were pretty negative – I asked myself why I bothered. My art felt like a hopeless endeavor. “What am I doing? Who am I kidding?”
NONETHELESS, I KEPT CREATING…
Even though I would feel unhappy about the finished products I was creating, I really enjoyed the process. I persevered.
I continued to invest time and money into art classes, buy art books, supplies, and simply kept going.
EXPERIENCING A SHIFT…
There’s no exact “aha” moment when the shift occurred, but as I kept creating, there was a slow, gradual shift internally in relationship to my art. I made a couple pieces that I was somewhat happy with, and showed them at a community art show. An art-librarian-friend-of-mine liked one piece in particular and we had a conversation about it which took me by complete surprise – was it really as interesting as he made it out to be?
My friend ended up buying the piece. (TODAY’S ART TIP 101- if anyone offers to buy a piece of art from you – SELL IT! It is amazing to receive money for something you made, because you know they really like it! Totally validating!)
It was in conversation with my friend, and with other folks, that I began to feel the shift. Our culture has informed us to think about art as “finished products” that hang on our walls, or the published book, or that record album or CD wrapped and ready for purchase. While we relate to the end result, I believe the process of creating is the most important and “magical” element of art.
As I grow as an artist, it is in this element that I relish in – for that’s the space I am engaging in conversation with myself, my heart, my soul, and my visual voice. Art, for me, has become a verb. I’m “arting” – and it is ALL about active collaboration with my inner self. And “arting” has opened me up to be in conversation with you and others about how important the process really is.
THE CONVERSATION IS THE CONNECTING POINT…
Whether or not you relate to my art, the fact that you took time to respond to a recent post about a particular piece is actually a beautiful thing for me – it means that you took a pause – you read my article, looked at the art in question, and took a moment to send me a message. We now have a connection and we can have a conversation. Whether you realize it or not, the process of pausing and reaching out to me means that you are examining your own concept of what art is. You are engaging philosophically in age-old questions “What is art? What makes an artist an artist? Is art about the artist or the beholder? Why do we do art anyway?
As I grow in as an artist, to be engaged with you and others on this topic is so playful and joyful for me. We are connecting whether you are dismissing the art or loving it. We are connecting and I can see my creation through your eyes and experience profound satisfaction that in some way you connected and entered into conversation with me. I get to hear your thoughts, and respond – bringing me into a deeper and more self-reflective state on what art – and what my art in particular – is really all about.
Creating and talking about art has set my heart free and helped my soul take flight and soar. I’m now so passionate about the conversation, that I became a certified creative coach to help others find and release their artistic passions. I’m committed to being in soulful conversation and help others break free of the inner criticism they have around their own art. That is my approach to teaching individualized art classes as well – working with students to develop mindsets that unlock their creative passions, combat the inner critic, and build collaborative conversations that help set the student free.
So, dear friend, thank you for taking a moment to reach out and writing. Thanks for being in conversation. May you have a happy Thanksgiving.
Peace and love,
Have an art question you are wrestling with? Want to be in conversation about the artistic process? Need to break free in your artistic endeavors? Let’s talk.
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