When you hear the word “artist,” what do you picture?
(a) That Picasso guy
(b) That Van Gogh guy
(c) Turtlenecked hipsters who say “juxtapose” and “deconstructed” while stroking their Llewyn Davis beards
It’s time for a new definition.
I don’t care if you’re a barista, a broker, or a shoe salesman. I couldn’t care less if you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since 1992. I don’t give a shit if the last time you did something creative was when Mr Beresford gave you a D minus in pottery.
What you do in your day job is not who you are, even if you work in a so-called “creative” field. Also, fuck Mr Beresford.
Being an artist doesn’t require paint or clay or a stage. It’s not about the medium you choose, it’s about using your ability to create, and using it daily.
That last part is key. Because while you’re an artist, the chances are very good that you’re blocked. Most of us are. We spend hours, weeks, months, years working on other people’s ideas, but somehow we never seem to find the time for our own.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron will unblock you.
It’s a 12-week course in recovering creativity. You’ll learn how to silence your inner critic, make new discoveries as you heal old wounds, and find the joy in making space for art in your everyday life.
As a kid, I loved to draw, write stories, play the piano, and make my own “TV shows.” I did these things every day as far back as I can remember. But when I started working in advertising, I stopped making art for myself.
After 20 years of squeezing what creativity I could into ads for cars and banks and cleaning products, two things helped me find my own voice again: learning to improvise, and The Artist’s Way.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso
If you feel like you’ve lost your sense of play…
If you yearn to make short films or decorate cakes or write your own comics or make things from popsicle sticks…
If it’s been so long since you did something creative, not for money or someone’s approval, but just for the fun of it, you need The Artist’s Way.
Just as important, the world needs your art.
P.S. I bought the watercolour set above four years ago. The colours made me smile, so pretty in their little trays. But when I got home, I got scared. What if I tried to make something and it SUCKED? So I put it in storage and promptly forgot about it. Within two weeks of starting The Artist’s Way, I got over my fear, as you can see.
A special thank you to Shari Hollett for introducing me to it.