I've been reading and working through this book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It's an artist recovery program. It's supposed to take 12 weeks. Whoops. I started it in august last year and am on "Week 11" now. It's been an incredible journey to recover my creative self. I would recommend this course/program to anyone who feels blocked as an artist. Anyone who wants to take time to make and discover/recover your artist.
One of the tasks for this week is to list 5 ways I have changed since beginning my recovery:
- I have practiced making work consistently. Before the program I was making, but I hadn't been making consistently since college, 8 years ago! Yikes. This is because my day job has fallen away and I have taken the time to make. I also have been diminishing my inner perfectionist, and seeing my work as a practice, without the pressure for perfection. Calling works done when they reach an interesting point.
- I now call myself an artist. I have never been able to call myself an artist. I was always a creative person. I was an art teacher. I was an art major. But never an ARTIST.. Now, I can say and believe that I am an artist. It's a big step. You other artists know what I'm talking about!
- I have sold over 15 works. I hadn't sold any work for 8 years either and this past 7 months I have sold over 15 paintings. That's something to be proud of. It's an honor to have people start and add to their art collections with my work.
- I have begun nurturing my artist. In this 12 week (step) recovery program Julia Cameron encourages us to do morning pages, 3 pages of writing, and taking our artist on weekly "artist dates." Artist Dates are special times where you do something with and for your artist. Taking quality time for your artist and pampering her. Before the program and often still, I am quite cruel to my artist. Saying negative things and doubting myself. But nurturing this artist and speaking kindly to her, has really helped me to begin to flouish. (haha. so cheesy but seriously!)
- I have been feeling less guilt about living the life I want to live. I have major guilt about being an artist. My whole life I have had immense pressure, mostly from myself to be altruistic. I always believed that being selfless is the best and most rewarding way to live. It turns out, for me, that nurturing myself and living the life I want to live as an artist is nothing to feel guilty about, because in turn I am filled up enough to give back.
I am by no means finished with my recovery. I have however made amazing progress. I doubted I would even finish this self-help book/program. Writing my morning pages is something that I love to do and has become quite meditative. It has unblocked me in many ways. Seeing the change in me throughout The Artist's Way has kept me coming back. I have one more week to complete the course and I am proud I have made it this far, but most proud of how much I have changed.
Five ways I want to change further:
- prioritize making art above house chores.
- be open to new medium for making my work and avenues of selling and getting my stuff out there
- continue doing morning pages, first thing in the morning
- actually take my artist on frequent dates
- Believe that being a prolific and brilliant artist is the best thing for me, my family, freinds, and the universe.
Thanks for reading lovelies.
P.S. Thank you Julia Cameron for your inspiring guidance!