Welcome to Week 2 of my Artist’s Way Adventure. If you are unfamiliar with this new series, take a look at The Artist’s Way Adventure – Prologue and then come back here later.
While the title of this week is not nearly as interesting as Week 1 The Shadow Artist, after reading the chapter, I realized that the lessons being taught were critical. Even if one doesn’t consider themselves an artist, everyone goes through the juggling act that is life. You have to juggle family, friends, work, self, fun, and other aspects of who you are with the limited amount of time we have on this earth.
Another key element of the chapter discussed toxic relationships that could be hindering one’s creativity. This could be applied to anyone that hinders you, not just someone you date. Toxic relationships could come from friends, family, co-workers, the list goes on and on. I personally thought this was a bit out of place in this chapter, but perhaps some people need to get rid of the weeds of their life before blossoming into beautiful flowers.
One of the other key things that this chapter discussed was skepticism. Now, that. That really vibed well with me this week. As I mentioned during Week 1, I’ve been optimistic yet also skeptical of the Artist Way. So the fact that the book reiterated this point spoke to me.
I greeted my first week of The Artist’s Way with a mixture of optimism and skepticism. I was optimistic because the Morning Pages I had been doing for a month now had been yielding little to no results and skeptical because after reading the prologue of The Artist’s Way, I felt maybe it was a bit too preachy for my standards.
Recovering a Sense of Identity
My sense of identity? I’m a creative, optimistic, outgoing and work-a-holic artist. I honestly did not need to read this chapter to know this about myself. My head is constantly in the clouds as I daydream and ponder about various topics, I’m constantly thinking about the silver-lining of various events and have been called a social butterfly from time to time. I love people, that’s why I adore working in the city.
I enjoy working. While I’ll complain about having to work and do something when I could be focusing on my own work, in the end of the day, I like what I do. Even when I don’t like what I’m doing, I’m enjoying it. Working gives me a sense of purpose in life and forces me to get off my lazy butt and actually do something. Work is something mandatory and gives me the responsibility and motivation to complete tasks that working on my own work doesn’t fulfill.
Similar to the previous week, I felt as if this chapter as a whole didn’t entirely apply to me but the lessons were certainly useful and good to keep in mind as I went about my days.
The tasks this week is to continue nurturing the inner artist and rediscovering who you are an individual. The first task, in particular, is to read and reread the Basic Principals every single day. While I could honestly say I did this five days out of seven, it was certainly interesting to read the Principals over and over again. The only issue is that the language used to write the Basic Principals sounds extremely preachy to me and inwardly I’d either be rolling my eyes at half of the principals or thinking that these principals were much more suited to a magical academy than an artist rehab.
One of the things I did to make it easier to read my Basic Principals in the morning was to create a flap in my Morning Pages notebook. This way I wouldn’t have to get up in the morning to find my Artist Way book and instead could just read the Basic Principals while doing my Morning Pages.
The most eye-opening assignment that I did was Task 7, Life Pie. At first, I had no clue what the book meant by “your life pie [looking] like a tarantula”. The statement made me second guess the way I needed to do the assignment and I had to google ‘Life Pie’ before actually doing it. After I saw one example, doing the Life Pie was a piece of pie! I split my circle into six pieces and labeled them spirituality, exercise, work, friends, romance/adventure… I didn’t name my 6th one play because I felt as if that went hand-in-hand with romance/adventure, so I labeled that final one family.
The reason why this is eye-opening was that I already had an idea where I stood in those various aspects of my life. However thinking it and seeing it visually are two different things and it made me reconsider ways I could be spending my time to improve different aspects of my life.
Tasks 3 and 4 were a two for one kind of deal. It was to list things I enjoy doing and then pick two that I want to do. The issue that I encountered with this assignment is that either the stuff I listed are stuff I indulge myself to do all the time already or they are things I’d like to do, but thanks to my health they are risky activities that are wiser not to attempt. What I learned though is that I’m happy because I am constantly letting myself do things I like as opposed to what others reading this book may be used to. The book even claimed, “Don’t be surprised if it’s been years for some of your favorites”.
My Artist Date
I mentioned on Week 1 that I was going to do a museum Artist Date, so this week that’s what I did. I went as a “student” even though it has been years since I have graduated from college, but thankfully my youthful looks allow me to have cheaper artist dates than most! The exhibit that was showcased in the museum was Matisse.
However since I purchased the most basic package for the date, I initially did not get to view any of Matisse’s work. Instead, I got to see works inspired by Matisse, aka fanart. I know it may sound strange, but honestly, it felt as if I was viewing fanart of Matisse. A lot of the artists were heavily inspired by this great artist, which is similar to how a lot of artists in this day and age do art based off their favorite animated shows and movies. History repeats itself.
What made my Artist Date significantly more interesting was when I was given an exclusive pass to go to the actual Matisse exhibit. I believe this was synchronicity at its best and I definitely took that deal.
Once inside, I was very pleased to see Matisse’s work and even more fanart. What made me happiest was seeing Andy Warhol’s Woman in Blue. I deeply enjoy Andy Warhol’s work and being able to see something a bit more graphic in an exhibit where everything was more abstract was refreshing. On that note, as horrible as it may sound, I felt some anger at some of the other pieces.
Why can’t I be in this exhibit?
Well during this artist date I realized, I could very well be in an exhibit one day. Even tomorrow. What I lacked was not skill, what I lack is courage. I lacked the bravery to submit my work to galleries and museums because I don’t believe I’m good enough. Hopefully, after this 12-week journey, I’ll be a bit braver.
Week 2 was about self-discovery. It was solidifying who I was as an artist. Who I am as a person. While there are times I feel confident in the person I am becoming, this week certainly helped with the moments of doubts of my artistic journey and growth.