I’ve been on a remarkably even keel since the returning from the yoga retreat last weekend. It’s as if I rebooted. Reset everything to a new baseline. It’s wonderful.
It’s allowed me thoughtful space and given me new clarity. I’ve been thinking about how I’m spending my time. I’ve been pondering some little changes to focus myself back in on what’s important. Writing a book, for one. Evaluating what I want to tackle in 2015. And creating new work. Always, always creating new work.
I’ve been realizing a deep truth: As an artist, everything hinges on continual creation. Everything. Self-understanding, renewal, and growth all come from a creative practice. It’s in creating that I understand the direction I want to go. It’s through my artwork that I tease out the signals to follow. I don’t wait for inspiration and then create. I create and then I get insight. And so I create some more.
No matter what else is going on, creating has to be at the core. It has to be a priority for my time. The pace may change, but it can’t go away. If it does, eventually the fuel for everything else that swirls around the art I create… this blog and the book and the workshops and the art events… will slowly, quietly fade away. And you know what else will fade away? An important, even vital, connection to my heart and soul. The connection which provides understanding of who I am and the confidence to seek my own path, no matter the influences around me.
We forget this. Our culture tells us to do otherwise. It tells us to focus on all of the other things that require our time: Work and family and friends and commitments. Things beyond ourselves. Get the work done first, then have fun. Then, with your spare time and energy, with the dregs left over, only then can you create. Everything else, everyone else comes first.
That doesn’t work, for the artist. For the artist to have a thriving creative life, creating art has to be part of the priorities. It has to be the work. You have to give it your best time and energy, on a regular basis. You have to make the right choices for yourself, even if others aren’t happy with you.
So I renew the choice, for myself, to continue creating new work. I don’t do it because I need new images to share or to blog or to show or to sell. I do it because I’m not me if I’m not creating.
I’ve worked long and hard to figure out who I am amidst the clutter. I’m not going to let that knowledge or connection fade away.