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Making art is a challenge, and more often than not I find myself reading about making art more than actually creating something. Right now the book of choice, the book that has me procrastinating and simultaneously so inspired is The Artist's Way - specifically, the sequel to the Artist's Way, Walking in This World by Julia Cameron. I mentioned a quote of hers in my post about my grand plans to open my etsy shop in the near future. A couple of points she's made so far have really resonated with me - I added my own little notes beside.
- "Cerebration is the enemy of art" - Thinking is good, overthinking is not. Sometimes you just have to go with an idea, without stopping to ponder the end result. Pull back the bowstring. Shoot the arrow. Don't vacillate and hesitate. Pull back the bowstring, shoot the arrow. Find your idea and execute it.
- "We are the 'block' we perceive" - The excuses you make about being unable to create are the reasons you're not creating. Not having a "studio space", not having the right or best materials, these reasons are not what keep you from working. Many a masterpiece of literature has begun on a napkin - many a gorgeous, worthy sketch has been scratched on the back of a receipt with a ballpoint pen. These excuses are the blocks that the fearful, destructive side of yourself put into place to keep you from even picking up the bow, let alone trying to shoot it.
- "Art is a matter of commitment" - Whatever its form, art is a constant practice, a daily ritual of exhaling - be it a set number of rows on a knitted scarf you set out to complete, three pages of something, anything written out to clear your mind and give you some peace, a new chord progression you've not yet tried, a daily haiku or a batch of cookies - the act of creating with your hands keeps you in line with your artistic purpose. It keeps the juices flowing, so to speak. Few of us, if any, are blessed with an "élair de génie" (stroke of genius) without having chased and caught 'the muse'. Practice, practice, practice.
Make your goal - develop your sketching style, find your poetic voice, write your book, whatever it may be. Don't think about how it will turn out, throw yourself wholly into making it happen, and commit some time daily to some part of the process. You won't get there if you don't start.
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