Discipline

More Watering...

image.jpg

It has something to do with being empty: these moments when we are supposed to be creating and yet we just can't bring ourselves to do it. When all our creative energy is required by life before we can devote any to the canvas, and then we wake up one day and the well is dry dry dry...

 

We've had a series of minor complications that seem to have completely knocked me out of flow. I'm supposed to be back in the studio slinging paint yesterday but I'm sitting in a big pile of don't wanna.

 

This is going to take more watering than I thought.

Fighting for Flow

Big changes take time to adjust to... And with a pile of changes asking for my creative energy, pushing paint has been slow.

  • New school year.
  • Family crises.

The rhythm should return in a week or less. And I'm curious to see what it will do to this pile of canvasses I've been prepping in the meantime.

Ready to get back in flow, and trusting that it will come.

Finding the brave ones...

Find Your Brave These paintings call it out of me -- courage, bravery, honesty, vulnerability. And they are calling it out of you. We are gathering and talking and growing together.

We are the brave ones, the ones who wake up. Who face the day. Who reach and stretch and run. Who are running and living as best they can. Who find their brave every day and find it again the next.

Here's to the brave ones. You, in turn, make me brave. You make me a better artist.

Do you have a Creativity Manifesto?

Why are manifestos so important? They keep the end in focus. They keep us on track. They supercharge our resolve to go after the things that are important to us. Even Frank Lloyd Wright had one. "In other words, the manifesto is a personal or even handwritten statement intending to shock, inspire, or offend." (here) In this case, we are aiming to inspire ourselves, yes? So, let's steel ourselves. Let's look ourselves in the mirror and tell ourselves to get out there and create because creating makes our world a more beautiful place. You can take a look at instructions for writing your own manifesto:

And if you're curious, here's my creativity manifesto:

"Creating is like breathing – more like exhaling. If I don’t create, my soul suffocates. As I create, I listen to myself. I discover emotions and fears and passions and convictions. I pray soft and subtle prayers—both mine and others'. 

While I create for the sake of my soul and for the sake of the message, I also create for the sake of creating. I enjoy the process, the challenge, the adventure. I hold moments of creating as a discovery, not a job or goal, but as a discovery of what is within me to create.

To maintain a level of creativity, I rely on new inspirations and old routines. I always find novel ways to create, whether it be through new tools of creating, or new mediums. Predictability and routine provide the best environments for my soul to have the energy to create. If life demands adaptation and change (both being very creative endeavors) then I will be depleted of my inner creativity.

To foster my creative edge, I must constantly educate and challenge myself: New books, new lessons, new tools, new goals, new creative endeavors. If I don’t grow, I will lose speed and possibly halt. This development is a monster of a task, and I often feel I am hindered by my own limitations. But I will continue to grow. I will continue to climb upwards to new heights of achievement. I may never ascend to the top of this Everest, but I will strive to get above the snow-line.

Each year I will make a creative goal for myself.  This goal will exist as an end in sight and a way to monitor progress, and will also fuel me to keep a steady pace with new ideas and tools and challenges."

Want more FREE Creative Resources?

Sign up for Greetings from Mandyland! [nm-mc-form fid="1"]

Falling into routine, and rising within it.

The start of school is behind us. Fall is here and I am settling back into the rhythm and flow of full-time artistry. IMG_9784-2.JPGMy creative days are dependent on their start, so I am diligent to give myself the time and input they need. If I don't secure this time for myself, I feel the effects all day: behind and sluggish and uninspired.  The mornings are early, blindingly early. The house is dark, save for my corner of the kitchen, and this is the time when I can see most clearly.

My morning routine includes coffee, silence, journaling, reading, breakfasting, and meditating. These pieces run together like a plate of spaghetti: one whole, but many indiscernible parts. All bring delicious sustenance for a creative day.

By the end of my morning quiet, my pages are full, my soul is full, and my hands are itching to wrap themselves around brush and palette knife.

I've been learning about the creative routines of others (here and here are good examples). Their rhythms are so interesting to me, and shed light on what might be useful for me as well.

I know others of you are voraciously creative and are honing your own routines. I'm curious: What helps you? What do you need to jumpstart your creative days?

 

Chasing Daylight (on morning routines)

My morning routine is fast becoming the most important element of my creative process.  I get my head in gear, my soul in check, and my body in go. It's a slow process, yes. But it is, by nature, the wandering and pondering part of my day. I spend time writing out those things that won't get out of my head. (I call this "brain drain.") I spend some time in a life-giving book (currently: Merton's New Seeds of Contemplation). I am living the questions by writing them down. I am generating ideas. I am asking myself which projects need attention today, listing my three must-do's.

20140109-062124.jpg

Essentially, I am choosing focus and clarity. I am pushing back hurried-living and simplifying my agenda. I am "getting it together," as we say in the South.

Some might see this is as self-indulgent, but I say it is self-management. There's nothing more paralyzing than this mam-artist in hurry-worry mode. I must take care of myself before I take care of someone or something else.

So do you have a morning routine? If so, what works best for you? I'd LOVE to hear.

 

Diving Into the Deep

I can't fight off the thought that I must dive deep into myself in order to pull up and out the kind of art that I'm hoping my fingers will make this year. TREE

I also can't fight off the thought that there's little down in there right now. My inner life is feels surfacey—shallow. I close my eyes to much of what would pour out at any other moment. But not right now.

FIND WINGS

I talked to myself this morning. Asked myself who was down in there.

"Hope." But that's a painting for another day.

This post, this moment, is brought to you by some of last week's makings. And maybe next week will come courtesy of my new friend Hope, who will soon have a face.

Reset

Sitting by my man on a chocolate colored couch by a simple fire with simple music streaming. I'm feeling quiet and reflective. It's time to thank 2012 for what it has given me. And think towards 2013. I've got my planner prepped. My word written. My goals for 2013 set.

We need this, don't we? We need the potential and possibility of a new year. We need the turning of the page. The start of a new calendar. We need the end-of-the-year reviews and the new-year resolutions.

We need to hit the reset button on ourselves sometimes.

This fire and this night and this giddy anticipation of 2013 has me enchanted. Why don't I do this more often? Why don't I have end-of-the-season reviews? New-season resolutions? Why don't I pick a word for each season?

Why don't I hit my personal reset button more often?

Why don't we all?

When I finish typing this sentence I will mark the change of seasons on my calendar and I will set aside time for End-of-the-Season Reviews and New-Season Resolutions, because once a year is not enough.