I've been thinking a lot about Valentines Day... mostly because it is everywhere today. You can't even log into your e-mail with out seeing all of the hearts and reminders on the home page. I've also noticed people mentioning it each and every place I have been today. Some love it, some hate it, others thought it was tomorrow. I'm no relationship expert and the topic of this blog is not love and dating, but I do want to talk about one relationship in particular tonight, that passionate, lifelong, love/hate relationship between you and your art.
Maybe you have not yet found your art, maybe you're out there looking for the right one, if you will, the right art for you. You've tried a few hobbies, but nothing has really stuck around for long because you lost interest or felt like you weren't so good together, not a good match for you. Then you had some friend tell you you needed to be the right one before you could find the right one (yes, it is really sounding like I'm talking about dating, but go with me) and you got annoyed.
If you haven't found your art you'll say"I've tried everything! I'm just not creative! Plus my teacher in the 8th grade insulted me on my drawings and I tried to do something creative once and a my aunt made fun of me."
If you have found your art other thoughts will creep in like, 'I don't have the time, I'm too busy with work, I have no money.' Having a loving relationship with Art can be rocky and dry at times. Sometimes it can be passionless and sometimes it can be exhilarating. Sometimes you can spend all day working on something only to watch it bomb in the end.
Trust me, I've spent my fair share of Valentines Days single and I've also made my fair share of really bad pieces of art, or taken a creative tangent that seemed to go no where. I know these things are necessary parts of the process of finding and refining and falling in love all over again with your art. Here are some things I would ask myself when that happens:
What do I dream about on a regular basis?
Who do I want to help, serve and inspire?
What did I dream about as a child?
What sounds like fun to me?
What is something I have always thought I would simply love being or doing?
Instead of cleaning the house, what can I do this Saturday afternoon that would really light my creative fires?
Take yourself on what Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way calls, The Artist Date. Do something new and different and just for you and just with yourself. No one else to distract you. Just you and your artistic self... on a date. It could be as simple as a trip to a gallery and eating out at a new spot on your own. Maybe you could go outside and sit in a field and write a story like you did when you were a kid. Yes, on Valentines day I am telling you to take yourself out, to go on a date meant to find and fall in love with your art.
On this Valentines Day, make a commitment to a relationship with yourself that is nourishing and a relationship with your art that is growing. Even if it is the earliest of stages of that relationship, you gotta start somewhere.
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