Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Inspires You?

I can’t honestly say that a lack of inspiration prevents me from doing something creative. In fact, it’s probably just the opposite. I have so many ideas that it’s hard to choose what I’d like to work on especially since my creative time is limited at the moment. Still, I’ve noticed that when I do have the opportunity and start vacillating, there are things I can do that put me in a more creative frame.
Here are just a few:
Looking at books: These can practically based like Digital Paint Techniques, which my friend JK Gent sent me for Christmas, or a book on a particular artist like Joseph Cornell and Astronomy (another current favorite). I believe books open the door to that part of you that’s big, colorful and bursting with possibilities.
Looking at Photographs: Lennie’s blog on Vivian Maier a month or so ago was really inspiring to me. Not because I wanted to go out and start taking pictures, but because the revelation that there must be thousands of unrecognized artists out there doing brilliant stuff right now really moved me. We tend to think that if we’re not recognized, we don’t have talent or the right to create. Vivian obviously wasn’t concerned about this. Her attitude seemed to be: “I love taking pictures and I’m just going to keep doing it no matter what.”
Watching TV: I’m sure a lot of people would disagree with me on this, but I find watching TV and doing art at the same time energizing. My theory is that I don’t obsess about how good a “job” I’m doing on a particular piece of art because I’m too distracted by the TV. Plus I’m getting in guilt-free junk time, which I seem to need. Maybe this is a weird kind of multi-tasking?
Loving my dog: When I cuddle Lily I feel this clear, beautiful sense of love. There’s nothing complicated this. It’s cleansing and liberating. Loving your pet enables you to see how you complicate things when simplifying them would be much healthier and more creative. Nothing gets to the heart of what’s important like Love, the source of true inspiration.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Word for 2011 is Focus

For the first time in ages, I decided to set some goals for the New Year. I usually avoid doing this because I don’t want to disappoint myself when I fail to achieve what I’ve promised myself I’ll do. However, the reason I changed my mind for 2011 is that not setting goals hasn’t been working for me either!
I accomplished very little last year. This was understandable given the challenges and circumstances, but still hard to deal with anyway. I’d like to feel better about myself at the end of 2011 than I did in 2010, so I know I need to focus to tackle some of the things on my list—like starting an Etsy shop, doing more with Photoshop and working on different writing projects.
Bob Proctor says you should only work on one or two goals at a time and I’m sure if he looked at my list he’d probably burst out laughing. Nevertheless, I think the way to accomplish some of this stuff is to Focus and to Put in the Time. The good thing is that I still have 362 days left to accomplish a number of my goals (and come up with a fool-proof system of beating procrastination).