Excellent idea to share your art with the world through the continuous chain of connections.
Click on image to watch the video
Excellent idea to share your art with the world through the continuous chain of connections.
Click on image to watch the video
I invite you to join me in a 6 Week Telecourse Series beginning January 8, 2013 to help Kickoff your New Year so you can be your most creative and productive in your career.
This Telecourse Series will cover different topics essential to pursuing a creative career. You will gain a better understanding and learn tools effective in maintaining creative momentum and success as a creative professional or working artist.
Only 10 days left before Registration closes. Sign-up by December 29th!
In all the years I’ve worked as a therapist and creative career coach I have found in general people avoid being uncomfortable like the plague. I think it’s our natural human instinct to steer clear of anything that may cause pain or discomfort. Even if there’s no physical threat and it’s psychological discomfort, our brains will fight to snap back to old familiar patterns and ways of doing things. But what happens when those old familiar patterns keep you from your success, creative potential, getting unstuck or making a needed career change? When we stay with what is familiar and comfortable we risk becoming complacent, especially, in areas where we’re being called to make pivotal changes or to take our creativity to the next level. Staying complacent can hinder our full creative potential. It can eventually keep us trapped in an unfulfilling career leaving us feeling uninspired and passionless about our creative work. As scary as it can be to embrace the unfamiliar and especially the unknown, this is an invitation to stretch yourself so you can be the creative person you were meant to be.
Clients I’ve worked with in the past, who were willing to face that uncomfortableness and sat with it, experienced powerful changes and lasting growth both personally and professionally. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen over night. They just made the “choice” over and over again to stretch themselves beyond that comfort zone. They knew deep down inside this was necessary in achieving forward motion and ultimately their goals and dreams.
If you have found yourself complacent or stuck when it comes to your creativity or creative career, perhaps it’s time to evaluate if you have been staying within your comfort zone. Whether that’s adopting a new perspective, a new way of doing things, trying something completely out of the ordinary, what areas have you kept yourself from stretching?
Contemplate the following questions?
“I am 57 years old, have been painting since the age of 30. I have recently earned my associates in fine art degree from our local community college. Recently I have been thinking of continuing for my bachelor of fine art degree on a part time basis. Then I have the feeling of why would you do that. It’s very expensive and you are creating all the time anyway. I feel at a crossroad and thinking my age may have a lot to do with my decision.” – Marita
Hi Marita, so glad you asked this question. It’s wonderful that you feel prompted to go back to school for your bachelors. It shows you are inspired and motivated to grow as an artist. There are many successful artists out there who don’t have a degree and are self taught. Although you can gain so much from a formal education, it’s not necessarily a determining factor for success. Like you said you’re already creating on a regular bases, which is essential to your artistic pursuits. I believe there are a lot of alternative ways to continue your artistic development. Once you have the foundational skills, you can apply it to other mediums and creative projects. However, fully immersing yourself in a degree program can accelerate your development and expose you to new concepts, theories and skills. I’m also here to say, it’s never too late, no matter your age, to go back to school. Don’t let age hinder you from doing what you want. Some of the masters didn’t hit the prime of their career until later in life. Also keep in mind, sometimes we do a great job intellectualizing ourselves out of what we really want to do. So, it’s important to get in touch with how you really feel around the idea of getting a degree. The true answer lies within You! Ask yourself the following questions: What is the primary reason I want to go back to school? What am I hoping to gain from obtaining a bachelors? Do I feel a degree will validate me as an artist? Do I really want to invest the time and energy or is it because I feel I should? When I visualize myself back in an educational setting do I feel excited and energized or trained and uninspired? I hope this was helpful and wish you the best in whatever direction you decide.
Have questions relating to the creative process or being a creative professional? Email me your questions. I’ll select and respond to the most interesting questions to be featured in upcoming The Art of Mind Ezines. So fire away! I look forward to reading your questions.
In the last few months I have been immersed in creating a body of work. Throughout the process and from my own experience, I have learned a valuable lesson about the creative process. The assumption is that in order to produce work, you simply show up in your studio, be productive, put in the hours and you will produce work. Although that is an important aspect of it, what I’ve discovered is that each day I choose to create, I not only experience creative fulfillment but more often than not I am faced with an internal battle zone. I come face to face with doubts, fears, self-judging and especially that voice that repeatedly questions what I’m doing. I’m sure many of you are familiar with that voice. The one that says “Who do you think you are? Do you really think you’re creating something worthwhile?”
Most art and design programs usually don’t equip us with the skill to constructively work with that negative voice. Instead we master the skill to muscle through those doubts and fears versus really learning how to embrace them and work with them.
One of the keys to mastering these feelings is developing the skill to become comfortable with the uncomfortableness that comes from insecurities and fears. Developing an acceptance that these fears will always be there and most importantly embracing them as part of the creative process. Having doubt and fears is not a sign that you are not talented, capable or creative enough, but that you are embarking on something deeply meaningful to you.
Why is it vital to our creativity to learn how to constructively work with our fears? Well, for me personally, I have found that when I make the conscious choice to surrender to the fear and I sit in that space long enough, something emerges. I tap into my most authentic and real creative self. I then have the opportunity to access some of my most creative ideas, instincts and expression. Although it’s not always easy to do, I realized if I let myself ride the wave of my own fears and doubts, I reach a point where it becomes easier to work with. That voice that was once screaming “Who Do You Think You Are?” becomes fainter.
If your creativity has been stifled or paralyzed by your own fears and doubts, why not try on a new perspective. Tell yourself it’s “Okay, they’re suppose to be there. They are part of the creative process.” And then create none-the-less. The better you become at mastering your fears and doubts, the more you will be able to access your true authentic creative expression.
I was reading over some of the most inspiring quotes from Steve Jobs and although I’ve read them before, they still re-inspire me over and over again. This one really hits home for me and something I often encourage my clients on.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – STEVE JOBS
Pursuing a life as an artist and creative professional is not a straight road, but one that includes many twists and turns. Throughout my own process in discovering what is truly aligned with my heart and intuition, I’ve learned to welcome those twists and turns. They are essential in the process of defining and uncovering what it is we really want to do.
Don’t get me wrong those twists and turns can be sometimes painful and no doubt uncomfortable to be in when you’re right smack in it. Those periods are often plagued with uncertainty, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy and disappointment. But I’m here to say that it’s okay to be in that space.
It takes a lot of courage to ride out those twists and turns to see what is waiting for you on the other side. That other side might simply be a change in your career, redefining your design or artistic style, quitting a job that is uncreative or finally writing that novel you’ve put off for years.
My wish for all of those out there pursing a creative career is that you don’t need permission to do what it is you really love to do and really want to do. When you finally give yourself the “OK” to do what you love, you get creative on making your biggest dreams a reality.
“Hi, my name is John, and… I’m an ARTIST.”
1. Admit that you are powerless over your ARTmaking, and it is the only thing that makes your life manageable.
Many artists describe the feelings they get from making art as an almost spiritual or sexual experience, feeling a complete and total sense of happiness and being at one with the world. Much like the feeling an athlete gets from hitting the ball in the sweet spot. But, instead of it being a fleeting moment, it is a lasting sense satisfaction and contentment. It is what keeps them the sane, wonderful people we love.
2. Believe that ART is a Power, greater than yourself, and can restore you to sanity. Making art is the way artists create order out of chaos. It is a personal order, that allows them to navigate their way through life. The most positive addiction. When you find yourself cranky or irritable, is it really just because you haven’t allowed yourself quiet time to work?
3. Made a decision to turn yourself and your life over to ART. The term “frustrated artist” didn’t come out of nowhere. Societal pressures, parental pressures, and sometimes our own need to succeed or fear of failure, keeps a lot of artists from ever realizing their dream. You can’t escape from it forever…eventually, the need to create will overpower whatever rational reasons you have developed to keep yourself from finding the time to make art. The sooner you accept it, the better.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of your ART skills. There is nothing wrong with being a self taught artist. But, in the same way your vocabulary skills can improve communication skills, so can developing your technique as an artist. The beauty of creativity is it’s never ending quality. Making sure that you are constantly looking, learning and improving your skills as an artist (and that includes keeping up to date with technology) will ensure you are working up to your potential.
5. Admit to yourself and one other human being, the importance of ART in your life. Artists are not capable of “controlling” their work hours. When you are “in the zone” your friends and family accuse you of being preoccupied and/or distant. But, it’s like a switch you can’t turn off. It creeps up on you when you least expect it, and never, ever when you summons it. You need to communicate this to the people in your life that are important to you so they can understand the importance of ART in your life and not take it personally when you are not “present.”
After years of working in your creative industry it’s easy to get settled in the routine of your career. But for many of us come mid career we start yearning for something to rekindle that passion for our work and inspiration in our creativity.
It can sneak up on us and suddenly one day we find ourselves feeling bored and uninspired with the projects we’re working on and questioning the direction of our career.
It’s typical to try to brush this feeling off by going on vacation, taking time off or introducing new activities into our personal life. Although these things are important to explore, what I have found with my clients is that these avenues didn’t resolve the real issue at hand.
Being able to recognize the signs that you may be in need of a career change is vital. It’s paying attention to the prompting coming from your own creative self.
Believe me, I understand if it comes down to having to consider making a serious decision around your career, it can be a scary reality to look at.
What I’ve discovered working with countless creative professionals is that part of being creative is that your creativity craves new ways to express itself. The nature of creativity is that it always wants to expand and maximize it’s potential in whatever avenue or form that is.
But like many of us creative individuals, we weren’t taught how to recognize the signs that our creativity might be starving or in need of a career shift.
What signs should you look for?
Maybe you need to consider learning new skills to add to your existing expertise. Perhaps it’s seeking out more challenging projects or something more pivotal like a career change. Maybe you just have a sense you may need a change, but feel unclear on where to start.
We all have our blind spots. That is why it’s important to get the support and guidance to help get clear and define what steps to take so you can begin to get a sense of a direction. For this reason it’s crucial to invest in a program, join a group of other professionals, talk to a mentor, hire a coach or simply begin to ask yourself the following questions:
Take the first steps to getting a clear direction for your career learn more about my new program Creative Career Makeover.
From my dear friend and guest contributor John Sovec
“You have to have a life to bring your best to the table as an actor” These words where surprisingly enough from my agent when I was talking to him about turning down a job because I was burned out and run down. Although his percentage as my agent was on the line as well, he emphasized how vital it was for actors to get out and live a full life as an important facet of being a fully realized performer. Living a full life is a valuable catalyst for fueling the creative spark in all of us.
As kids, we tend to be more open to the idea of learning just for the fun of learning but as adults the cues aren’t as clear and we often lose our inspiration to learn new things amid various commitments and responsibilities that demand our attention and time. When we do make time to learn a new skill it is often related to career advancement with the learning seen as a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Perhaps, just like kids returning to school, we can find methods of inspiring our adult selves to learn something new in an area that interests us and brings us enjoyment, just for the sake of learning.
So how can you apply this concept to your life? A powerful way you can inspire and motivate that growth process is to view learning as a constant evolution of refining, and polishing. Just as you need to eat well, exercise and get your rest, learning is a way to stimulate the mind and feed the spirit to keep you active and engaged in life.
It is easy to come up with reasons not to take a class, workshop, or online course including lack of time, money, confidence, or interest, and lack of information about opportunities to learn. But in reality, these are just excuses.
When you overcome the internal resistance, entering into a learning environment can open the doors to making new friends, boosting self-esteem, cultivating hidden talents and discovering new aspects of your creative self.
Learning is an ongoing experience where you can commit to growth and self -expression not just as an artist but also as person. Seeking knowledge satisfies an inquiring mind and can stimulate you to take risks and chances, giving a welcome break from the routine of work and home that can become a source of resentment if you’re not careful.
So take a chance and put some energy into learning something new. Seek out local colleges, community centers, online courses, books, yoga studios, meditation centers cooking classes. Ask friends about any cool courses that they are taking not directly related to your artistic genre. Use these classes to re-energize and invigorate yourself. Its’ a good bet that these classes will open up your artistic side and allow you to bring even more to the table for your next creative project.
Dare yourself to step outside your comfort zone and learn something new just for the fun of learning.
John Sovec is a therapist in Pasadena, California who will help you to rediscover the passion in your life. With a compassionate, focused, and humorous style he will assist you in overcoming the challenges that are keeping you blocked and empower you to Experience Your Life. To learn more visit JohnSovec.com