The artist in her element with Water IV ©LEAD
1. I can be in my DIY “glam squad” mode and still work on my paintings!
Sometimes I will have a split commitment, so I’ll take a paint break, shower, get those hot rollers on, then come back and continue with my painting flow! Love that flexibility!
2. I get to choose my material/content to explore in my creative life.
One of my most favorite aspects of what I do is the fact that my art practice is a personal laboratory in self-examination and an ongoing research project in what I love, what I value. My original art collections reflect my creative process and the road less traveled that I find myself on steeped in truth, beauty and adventure. I love this quote by Lena Dunham, “As an artist, you get the opportunity to write the world — or create the world — that exists in your fantasies. It’s a really beautiful thing to do.” And this quote by legendary Italian curator Massimiliano Gioni, “Artists are people who do things with images in order to understand the world. They have a fierce desire to know themselves.” Oh yeah baby!
3. I get to choose which art materials I am making my art with.
I love that we have access to so many art materials and tools to play with! Today, artists can choose from a HUGE selection of store-bought art supplies and oodles of re-purposed surfaces, media and materials to create with. My new favorite art supply store when collecting some materials is Lyon Art Supply. It’s one of three stores in a fairly small chain with a rad selection of papers, and sometimes “hard to find” tools that I use. Also, it’s close to my studio and the best thing about this place, they offer a great and rare 30%! discount for teachers and students! Awesome!
4. I get to listen to music of my choice and sing out loud whilst I work!
I have a secret passion for singing! This is something that just a few people know about ’til now! I used to sing in my classroom and my teenage students were often shocked and caught off guard as they thought, “who does that?” 🙂 I heard something interesting about people and singing. There are three places where folks sing freely, do you know where they are?. 1. in the shower 2. in the car, and 3. drunk karaoke! Let’s change that!
When I am in my studio, I am usually plugged into one of my fave Pandora stations… 80s, Indigo Girls, Fleetwood Mac, Ani DiFranco, Donna De Lory (to name a few), and belt it while I am painting or simply in studio. Perhaps I’ll include an audio clip in a forthcoming blog post….
5. I can make a mess and be outdoors! AND I get to play and it’s super fun!
I love making a mess and luckily, I don’t mind cleaning up after! Great fun indeed! The ability to play, to be a child, to lose all sense of self-consciousness and of “doing it right” or having the “correct answer” is one of the rewards of honoring the call to live as an artist in these contemporary times.
6. I can make my own schedule according to the rhythms and cycles of nature.
Sunrise, sundown, seasonal changes, daylight savings, planetary shifts and the cycles of the moon. I love all of these changes that we get to experience affecting our daily lighting, moods, temps, and keeping the energies alive and fresh. The ability to be in sync and in harmony with these ever-changing cycles is one of my favorite aspects in keeping my microcosmic creative process in tune with the macrocosmic flow.
7. I get to break the “rules.”
The art world and the world at large operate on many layers of unspoken and spelled out rules and regulations. One of the best characteristics of being an artist is the fact that although there are these tangible parameters that exist like the art world “market,” art fairs, galleries, critics, etc, bottom line–there is no True North for artists. To walk the path is to create your own. This is what is meant by breaking the “rules,” even those we make for ourselves; to create, innovate, re-invent and be willing to fail and to keep going is part of this journey. One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from Marina Abramović , “When you repeat, you really lose respect for yourself… For me, the studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself. It is a habit that leads to art pollution. Nothing new happens. You don’t surprise yourself. Artists are here to risk, to find new territory. Risk, especially when you are a known artist, includes failing. It is an essential part of process. Failure is healthy for your ego.”
8. I get “free dress” every day, not just sometimes.
I love fashion and I love creative self-expression, even if this means wearing an old tank top with worn-in yoga pants and Havaiana flip-flops! One of the best parts of my day in the studio is the freedom I have to wear whatever I please, especially if this means my most functional and comfortable clothes. I have worked in many job settings from corporate to educational institutions and have certainly worn the heels, the stockings, the pencil skirts and dry-cleaned shirts. I loved those days too, and believe me, I will do it when necessary, yet nothing beats comfort and the freedom to move and get dirty without constrictions or limits! Love my painting clothes!
9. I can work from home with a short commute of two flights of stairs=smaller carbon footprint.
As an artist, I have mainly worked from a home studio, a designated work space ranging from a small room to an outdoor studio to a garage space. The best part of this setup is the commute is ideal and I feel so much gratitude that I can be green through my choice to work from home. One of my last teaching jobs included a brutal commute during rush hour, round-trip to the far side of downtown Los Angeles. That was certainly the toughest part of my day, waking up at 5am and getting home well past 6pm reminded me of what I truly value in life ~ quality time with my loved ones and less time in a car on the roadways! A friend once said to me, “The quality of your life is reflected in your commute.” Wow. Check this out.
10. I get to express myself and share my gifts and talents with the world!
The artist with Water V at a recent art exhibition in Southern California. ©LEAD
And, lastly, I feel immense satisfaction from getting to be an artist today. With so many ways to share our creations and expressions through social media outlets, networking and the internet overall, it’s such an easy pleasure to create and know that I can share my artwork with the world without many obstacles or fuss. Success is guaranteed when we share our unknown with our community and keep on creating from our essential truth.
I leave you with these inspiring words for the artist in us all from one of my favorite artists of all time.
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant — there is no such thing, Making your unknown known is the important thing — and keeping the unknown always beyond you…” — Georgia O’Keeffe
Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear your comments here, reach out via my facebook page, or email me at email@example.com.
May your days be filled with a sense of wonder, love, creativity, adventure and play!
In love, gratitude and beauty…
Art to Awaken Your Heart, Nourish Your Spirit