Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What is the point of that question?

As I'm reading The Artist's Way, this question comes up: "What was your favorite childhood game?"

I didn't have a "favorite" game. Who has "favorite" anything? Favorite color, favorite flavor ice cream, favorite food, favorite car, favorite clothes . . . Having a favorite anything seems limiting. My favorite singer? Artist? School teacher? Hell, I didn't even have a favorite boyfriend! (Oops, except, of course, the two guys I eventually married! Especially the last one!)

Does not having "favorites" make me limitless and independent, or just wishy-washy?

What is the point of that question?

The Artist's Way is a "program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy . . . replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity."

Well, right now I'm incredibly productive and (most of the time) artistically confident. I look at the body of work I've created and it is so gratifying.

Am I so full of myself that I think I'm at the height of my powers and there's no room for improvement? Of course not. And there are times when the ideas just sort of dry up. But those times don't last.

The key to creativity isn't asking myself what was my favorite game as a child, but to simply do the work, keep working, keep making, keep seeing designs, patterns, and potential compositions in everything I look at.

That's the key (for me): seeing and making. And unless my favorite game as a child was starting fires using a magnifying glass, I'm not going to give that particular question a lot of weight.

So am I dumping reading The Artist's Way? Nope. I'm going to continue with it for a time. Why? Because every morning now, writing my "morning pages," I am focusing on my art, thinking about it, coming up with ideas, writing out thoughts about new projects.

And who knows? Maybe something there just might initiate a huge breakthrough. You never know.

So yeah, the book bugs me. And yeah, I'm not real fond of doing the morning pages, but it's quietly moving me forward, and it can't hurt, so why not?

I'm on page 74. Just 222 pages more to go . . . Sigh.

©Carol Leigh

P.S. And the photograph? I clipped twigs from bushes in the back yard and just plopped them into old bottles, put them on what we call the "Holly Cabinet," and photographed them. I love the simple, almost Zen-like feel to the photo. And now? Weeks later? Little green shoots are popping out all over them! Who knew?

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