The Artist’s Way

June 14, 2010

So I dusted off a book – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – that I’ve had for a number of years, but read a little bit of a long time ago and then stored it somewhere. And then I moved, and moved, and moved, and lost track of it, also losing track of the reason I wanted to get the book in the first place ~ I want to be more creative. I’ve spent many years using my logic brain. Not just in my career, where I’ve chosen safe and financially stable paths but also in my everyday life (“I should probably spend the day cleaning rather than enjoying the day or doing something to exercise my creative spirit.”) Over the years I’ve looked high and low for ways to express my creative side. There were pottery classes and drawing classes and guitar classes, etc. you get the point, and after every one I’d just go back to work and the real world and not spend much time doing any of those things.

So now I’m making a commitment to myself to let my creative self out and (hopefully!) thrive. It’s why I’m taking up photography, and why I hope to pursue other interests that once I start spending some time being creative, I think will come alive.

The first step to doing this, per The Artist’s Way, is to recover a sense of safety, giving yourself the freedom and permission to listen to your inner artist, nurture it and not judge yourself, or beat yourself up, or listen to unfair critics that may be jealous of what you’re trying to accomplish, what you’re willing to put out there. It takes baby step – painting bad pictures, writing bad poetry or taking crappy photographs. You can’t judge those first attempts, because that only discourages your artistic self from “continued exploration,” for improving and making oneself better. So you must make mistakes, you must stumble and get back up. You must ask the stupid questions about the camera you just purchased. And you should make slow and steady progress while not expecting perfection.

And on the perfection note, I also recently ran across a newsletter article by Wendy Watkins, a personal and business coach and creator of PassionFruit and The Joy Factor, as well as a fellow Decaturite. The article, 5 Ways to Get Started without Being Perfect, specifically addressed this issue of not starting something until we have it down perfectly. As a perfectionist in almost everything I do, this rang so true for me. Bottom line, in Wendy’s words “Don’t let perfection hold you back from taking the actions needed to achieve your perfect idea of what you want to be, do or have!” And I’m not. So here goes with some more pictures I took this weekend, at home and around Oakhurst. I know these aren’t perfect, and I’m 110% ok with that. My personal favorites are “Camo Cat” (we’re still not sure if Cricket ever saw the cat), “Dog Waste,” mostly because of the very fine illustration (where exactly is the poop coming from?) and “Mirror,” where Cricket’s like, wtf?

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  1. You are sooo cool! You inspire me….
    Thanks so much for sharing…
    You have always been intuitively creative in my opinion. For example, you have always had the best fashion sense! Yep…I remember the cool tights and knee socks in high school…
    Can’t wait to see more of the way in which you capture the world..

  2. Thanks for your words of encouragement, Sandra! You, by far, have the superb fashion sense. :) I miss you, and hope to see you and your adorable little family some day soon.

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