Slow down, to speed up.
We often rush around trying to organise our lives from the outside in. We paint, draw and call inspiration from external sources but the real source of power lies within. What does this mean? You don’t necessarily have to be able to paint your dreams like Salvador Dali or represent your emotions like a professional abstract expressionist artist to convey a genuine truth of what you feel inside. However working fast and hard, trying to push out paintings like you’re in a sausage factory, and making art as a means to make a lot of money or keep up with the Jones’s (or Hirst’s) is a recipe for burnout and disappointment. At the same time, you can’t simply paint, draw or create something only when you feel happy or good, if you want to make this a career. You need to be able to have consistency in your creativity. So what the heck do we do?
The key is either to pour your emotions, including negative feelings, into your artwork and then make a decision whether you’re going to show this to people or not and/or to process emotions and negative feelings by some other means, which will create space, inspiration and a strong flow of energy that you can pour into your work instead. You can do this for example by writing, talk therapy or a tool I love called “peace processing” – I swear its not as namaste, religious or mundane as it may sound. It WORKS! Neither way is right or wrong – the key is to KEEP YOUR ENERGY MOVING. Don’t get stuck. I know what it’s like to get stuck feeling like I’ve lost my ability to create, that nobody wants to see my work and that I’m generally hopeless as an artist. These kind of thoughts and feelings pass. It’s important not to let them become your reality. Remember that you have a choice, and continue making art, whether you feel like crap or not (there’s always a way to get through feeling awful – whether it’s related to art or something else). Slow down and embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of art making. It’s surprising how productive you can be when you get out of your head and learn to not listen to any negative voices in your head. Keep moving, keep processing, and as cliche as it might sound, have compassions for yourself always.✌️Nicci