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Monthly Archives: June 2011

About not getting stuff done, aka procrastination

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Truly Brilliant! So glad I found it while I was not getting my stuff done. Am sharing everywhere I can, and then I will get to getting my stuff done.

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Connecting to the big ol’ universe…

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This is me potting.

I am a very messy potter.

It’s in creative spaces like this that I feel most connected to that big ol’ universe and today to my Dad on the other side.

When do you feel most connected?

Guilt: sure cure way not to get what your soul calls for.

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One of the most disempowering yet most common beliefs that people live by: “I shouldn’t want more out of life. I should be happy with what I’ve got.”  And then the guilt sets in for wanting something more, or for wanting to feel happier, or for yearning to ‘get to’ something that keeps calling them.. and they stop even dreaming, because of the guilt.

Often these underlying thoughts are so ingrained, a person doesn’t even consciously acknowledge what’s stopping them. Nor do they take time to explore the  possibilities of what it is they are yearning for.  Whatever it is, it’s all possible. This I do know… sometimes it’s different perspective that sets things rolling; or a way that they had not thought of before; or a way that is less grandiose than they thought it had to be but does in fact address the yearning; …. yes,  it is all possible.  I know, I know.. this is a short little blog post that says ‘it’s all possible and  ya ya, sure it is’.

But  here’s  little step..

Just for a moment. Notice the yearnings.  Notice  if guilt stops you. Give yourself permission to listen to the whispers of your soul.   They are there for a reason…

That alone could be enough for things to start to shift….

More debunking of the Teachings and Myths of “Real Art.”

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“Real writers write on yellow foolscap paper.” said a famous author (who’s name I have erased from my memory for obvious reasons) in a workshop full of hopeful writers.  What if they believed him and now blankly sit with a pad of yellow foolscap paper in a cool coffee shop, wishing they were at home pouring out their words in a blog format that they love?

“You cannot add tiny clay pieces to large clay pieces. They will be destroyed in the firing process,”  said my first ceramics instructor. What if I’d believed that to be true and never added the first tiny faerie to one of my pots? Why, I wouldn’t have the most bizarre and magical life story that evolved as a result, and is now being turned into a novel.

“Illustration is not art,” said the university professor, and so the young artist’s dream to illustrate books was instantly squashed, and she finished her degree in fine art, and never picked up a paintbrush or pencil for years. ( Until she had coaching and realized how that teaching had stopped her.)

“You must practise your art for years before you can expect to get any recognition. That’s the price you pay for being an artist.’  I don’t even have to name the ‘speaker’ – this is such a common myth it plays in the minds of most artists.   So. Google Rachel Kilback.  She is being recognized all through the world by those who appreciate unique art. She started creating last Fall.

“Art created with an intention to sell does not result in true art.”  Yup, another university professor.  1. Do you know how nearly impossible it is for an artist to create and not have at least some moments fantasizing  about it’s financial worth? Imagine the havoc this plays in the minds of emerging artists who doubt their worth simply because of their ‘bad’ thoughts.  2. Do you think that the most recognized and highly productive artists didn’t spend time concocting some creative way to convince others of the value of their work, even if the reason was simply so they could buy more paint and perhaps eat on occasion?

There’s so much myth debunking to do!!

… debunking the myths that cause parents guilt; debunking what the left brain systems have taught the right-brainers about themselves, … but for now, staying with the art theme…

“Janet, you can’t use white.. that’s not acceptable in any form of watercolour or painting,” said the Art Store owner.  I bought it anyway and sulked out, probably mumbling, ‘then why do they sell it?”  I  always use white because I love it, but still I was surprisingly relieved when David Langevin, an expert in the techniques of the old Masters,  announced in a workshop something along the lines of: “Yes, you can use black. Yes, you can use white. Don’t believe anything people tell you about painting.” (Oh! Want to be inspired? Watch the video on David’s home page!)

What stops you?  And within that, is there some myth or teaching that you just don’t need anymore? Usually just discovering the “what stops you” is enough to make that limiting belief just fade away.

Debunking Myths, Redefining Perfection.

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This post was inspired by a post by Michael Topic called “Flawed Genius”

“It was said that the Chinese used to believe that a work of art was not complete and whole, unless it had some kind of flaw in it.  Perfection was not the goal, something with a human stamp of imperfection was the highest aesthetic standard to aspire to.  In keeping with this philosophy, many of the ancient Chinese artists would make a tear in their picture, chip a finished piece of porcelain, or otherwise besmirch their work, on its completion.  This was to show that the work was beyond perfect.  It had a deliberate flaw added at the final stage, to demonstrate this ultra-perfection..”

DO check out the link to the full article by Michael.  Thank you, Michael,  for denouncing yet another myth of what an artist ‘should do.’ Imagine striving for a perfection that requires damaging your work; one must wonder how that bit of insanity evolved… what guru was misunderstood? what disgruntled adjudicator not in their own creative process subconsciouly conspired to damage artists’ works? What brilliant artist who accidently damaged their works created a new myth to turn that broken piece into perfection?

I wish we would all individually recognize the perfection in everything… that is the only perfect. The ‘other’ perfection is some elusive ‘something’ that is unreachable, therefore, one is never able to say ‘good enough’ or better yet, “I love it.”

As a creative, my perfect is showing up to what I love, basking in the zone, finding my strongest inspiration in the random warps of a pot, unexpected spill of paint, or a typing error. My perfect is bravely putting it ‘out there’ even if I think it’s kind of crappy (but still perfect because it exists) – because my ‘perfect’ knows that for some odd reason, someone is going to bond with it, and that’s when I get to witness the magic and perfection of the creative process which snuck in the back door and made sure I made it for that person.

And when I’ve really pushed my boundaries and techical flaws evolved that disappointed me… yes, I have found myself ‘apologizing’ for the mistakes… but always to looks of “is she nuts? this is awesome” .. so then I try hard to shut up.

It’s very late here in Canada.. I probably need to reread this, but I’m going to press send. Or should I do some damage to this first to prove this post’s perfection?

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