Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Artist's Way - Week One - Recovering a Sense of Safety

I've just started working through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, and thought I'd use my blog to post about my weekly check in. For those of you not familiar, it's basically a twelve-week workshop to nurture your inner artist-child, and to enable your creative energies. I've been whining about not being creative, being disappointed in my work, feeling far to literal in my art, blah blah blah, so my mum pulled out her copy of the book and suggested that I might like to try the workshop.

I have managed to do the morning pages and affirmations every day of the first week, although they've not happened at the time of day recommended; when I first wake up, it's because Kate wants her food, so I've got a lot to do before I can get to the exercises, and I am not waking up before I absolutely have to. Forget it; sleep is a highly precious and rare commodity in this household, I'm not going to sacrifice it for anything other than Kate right now.

I have found working through the exercises challenging. They are meant to dredge up stuff, and they certainly do. While I resent spending the time doing these exercises, I recognize that when I'm doing them, I'm doing something, rather than doing nothing, towards supporting my artistic creativity.

This week was about visiting and exploring historic influences which thwarted or encouraged our inner creative child. I found the exercise where I wrote out the creative affirmations really tough at the beginning; my inner critic was just screaming at me the whole time. As the week progressed, these became a lot easier, and my critic less noisy. As I examined each critical reply, I recognized that they're generalized, unspecific and not actually at all accurate, yet it's amazing what a strong impact they have on stopping me from creating.

From this week, I have recognized that I am allowed to have fun, and that all my efforts at creativity are valuable and to be rewarded with a positive attitude. Even if I only spend five minutes on something creative, it's a very valuable five minutes. And just because I'm not in the studio carving or printing, doesn't mean that I'm not being creative. I'm a very creative person on many levels. For example, I'm working on a computer project that I'm very excited about. While it's not printmaking directly, it's very creative and I'm loving every minute. I really enjoy learning, and it's great working through a program to figure things out.

The second week's chapter (which I've already started) examines skepticism. As in "yeah, sure, there's some 'magical' thing out there that will make stuff happen if I believe in all this clap-trap". Well, guess what? It works! More next week...

1 comment:

Diane Podolsky said...

Hi Amie. The Artists Way is a very good book. The morning pages were also difficult for me; I won't go into why but I will say that what did work for me was to do 3 pages of sketches. I still find that helpful and have continued that on quiet mornings.