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What Energizes me
as an ageless artist
Today’s post is a little different. If you notice above I have included a voiceover ! If you decide you want to sit back and listen instead of reading..Well here is your opportunity :-)
I often think that I am capable of more than I am ..Biting off more than I can chew is a constant. Mentally I am excited about opportunities and say yes yes yes ..Even when logic dictates a wait- and -think- about -it attitude. This past week was a demonstration of this in action although all went well in the end -No regrets.
In one week I offered two different art workshops in two different locations..I fretted somewhat prior.
Did I have enough supplies? Would people register in the final moments ? Would I be prepared for different learning styles? Would a wheel roll off my car on the way to the longer distance workshop?!! etc..
I can preach the virtues of stepping out of one’s comfort zone. I feel better when I accomplish meaningful things. I truly enjoy facilitating art workshops. It’s quite gratifying to watch people focus and move into a “zone” when they are making art .
I also recognise there is a burst of energy required in the performance aspect of it all.
Part of this angst is due to me not juggling life now in the frenetic way I was for many years accustomed to ..Those early years (not) balancing work life with parenting and trying to sneak my art practise in .. The little jolt of performance looms larger as a result.
Slowing down to a normal pace of living with my own simpler schedule throws me for a loop when I take on a little more responsibility to offer myself in a public sort of way.
In revisiting my childhood days I was shy , quiet, introverted -happiest in the company of a good friend or two. I was also a ham -and liked to perform when given the chance.
I loved to dress up and perform in impromptu plays as a child (with my little brother )
That’s me in the plaid shirt top row posing “seriously” for a group “Explorer” photo
One of my greatest fears into my early 30’s was public speaking..
I had a brilliant supervisor in a Street involved youth program I worked in years ago who encouraged me to design and facilitate workshops on STD/HIV protection in the community. I was totally freaked out at the time by the prospect -Yet she believed in me. I ended up loving it ; speaking at a national conference in Canada , presenting in Washington DC and on radio and TV. Who would figure? Later in life doing puppet shows for kids and art workshops seemed almost second nature..
We all have so many sides to our complicated selves don’t we?
Now there is much written about introvert /extrovert personalities and highly sensitive people . I believe most creative sorts have a little or all of these character traits. Knowing oneself more deeply over time helps to guide us with the life decisions we make and who we spend precious time with.
Putting your art (or writing!) out there is a big step initially. Standing behind a table or at your own booth at a show or gallery surrounded by your personal creations feels like quite a lot of exposure at first. Multiple experiences help to remove the mystique and some of the nervous energy.. After awhile it can ease into something more comfortable,normal. For myself I could step out of myself for a bit and become the detective, the investigative reporter , the mad scientist - observing and taking in people’s reactions to my art. If I am present -I am also “on”.
If I have been minding my own booth for 4 hours or longer at a show then I am exhausted from the chat (which also invigorates!) For me this will be the focus of my energy output for the day..
I have learned over time to speak about my art and process and convey my love of making. I have also learned to feel and project confidence in my own work .
Today I am still coming down a bit from last week’s mental and physical energy exerted. A rainy rest day is in order. To reflect, read, write ,mull and perhaps plan my next episode in the life of an artist .
Something else I worked on last week in between other things .. A short process video of one of my mixed media journal pages..and a short tour of the journal so far !
Although it is online (public ) I enjoyed the creative process of making it in the privacy of my own space. It’s relaxing.
What energizes you as an artist,a creative?
What are the signs that you may need to relax and decompress ?
Thanks as always for reading my newsletter .