‘Tis the season for creative doubts and uncertainties, right? It’s hard to focus, the weather, at least where I am, brings on the doldrums and the very strong desire to hibernate til spring.
This past week, two friends emailed or texted about their creative struggles. I gave them my own words of support, of course, and I also suggested some of my favorite books and eCourses. You know I told them about Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work, which I’ve reviewed and mentioned here before. One friend said, “uh, yeah, you told me about that one already, I own it.” : )
The first friend to write to me this week struggles with focus and getting work done – it’s hard to balance a day job or two plus staying focused on your art work. For her, I told her about the eCourse with Lisa Sonora, The 7 Creative Powers, that I just took.
In 7 Creative Powers, Lisa, a trained art therapist, gently takes us through fun, deceptively simple journaling tasks that result in crazy-powerful results and insights.
And it’s not art journaling. It’s not about the pretty, not at all. Lisa calls it “taking a journey with art supplies.” And that’s what it is.
Here’s a page from my sketchbook from 7 Creative Powers:
Using the painting techniques I learned in Lisa’s earlier course, Dreaming on Paper, I kept making these container type shapes in my sketchbooks. On one of them I wrote, “I hold the container for my students,” because holding that creative space, that safe space, is an important part of teaching art.
Later, I painted this one, in the picture above, and this time I wrote, “Hold the Container for Yourself.” A simple insight, seemingly, but significant. My journey for the past few years has been about teaching less and focusing more on creating my own original artwork. I’ve been turning some of that nurturing over to myself and my art. This sketchbook page is a visual reminder of that decision, that on-going work.
So I told my friend, this course was amazing for me. There really are these seven creative powers and in the course we look at them one at a time. With art supplies, we explore where we are right now in our lives with each power. It’s not set up as a “let’s look at our strengths and weaknesses” thing, not at all. But that’s what you discover.
What did I discover? I was surprised to learn just how strong I was in one power, really surprised. In another power, I was surprised to learn just how weak I am. That this has been brought to my awareness, now I know how to take action in order to make more art.
And you know what? It’s already working. I have one long studio day per week and last week, I started and finished 4 sculptures! I started about 4 more!
Lisa says that as we practice being decisive in our sketchbooks, it will carry over into our regular lives and art. And it did, that fast!
When my second friend texted me, she was having one of those horrible, “my art is awful, I should just quit,” days. I reminded her that her art is in fact, really, really good. She’s the one who already has Do the Work. I suggested 7 Creative Powers to her too, to get back on track, and stay on track.
I only recommend things on this blog that I have personally used and believe in. Click the picture to learn more about the course: