Monday, July 13, 2015

for my fellow artist readers...

...may you be inspired...and challenged.

Regardless of what life throws at you, "make good art."

I've started a project, a relatively creative endeavor, but more systematic and
"practical" than a novel.  Thus far, I have less than 20 pages, and I feel terrified.
The last month or so, waves of restlessness and longing have overwhelmed my
spirit and I've been seeking, praying, "What? What now? I need something to
work on...something to create."

I don't know if God has given me this project or if I've just conjured it up out of my
desperation. Regardless, I'm moving forward, but each step in takes my heart into
deeper turmoil and fear. "What if" questions pummel my psyche and I find I want
to give up before I've even really started.

You know the phrase, "nothing ventured, nothing gained," but what they don't tell you
about risk is the devastation you experience when you hope and then wipe out. What
I often want to counter is, "nothing ventured, nothing disappointed." You can move
on with your practical life. But being practical doesn't expand your life...or the ones to come.
Risk does. Art does. Adventure does. Faith does.  And I want to have an expansive life.

Writer Julie Krug encourages writers to get outside themselves at times and have adventure
dates, which will help you remember your place and open your perspective, "And making Artist Dates (a solitary expedition, once a week) where you go and do something you love and ask, ‘Dear God, how can I be of service?’ All of these tools siphon off self-importance,” she adds.

The reliable approach, she advises, is to stop asking, “Will this be my breakthrough project?” and start asking, “Is this project worthy?”
Therein lies the artist’s way" (Krug, "The Abundant Life"). 
So don't fear its success or failure, but contemplate its worthiness. Is it an honorable work that needs to be created? 
Painter Lisa Golightly adds:
I give myself permission to just make for the sake of making without any thought to the outcome, which can be surprisingly hard. … What I would tell my younger self is this: There is no “right” way to make art. The only wrong is in not trying, not doing. Don’t put barriers up that aren’t there — just get to work and make something."
 We create because we feel this bubbling desire well up in us. We don't create--at least originally--for money or accolades, although I daresay that every writer wants to be read and esteemed in some capacity. We write to see our thoughts. We paint to experience our emotions. We compose to hear what we feel. There's a spiritual depth in creating that cannot be found through the demanding toils of the mundane and unimaginative. 

Art speaks to the dimensions of purpose and hope and joy and vitality.

“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.” ~Junot Diaz

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. ~Thomas Merton

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” ~Auguste Rodin

Still have some doubt? Read this article on the top 5 fears that keep artists from creating: be challenged to push past it.

Art is not a thing; it is a way.

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