October 24, 2016

How I am learning to be an artist

I've been reading How to Be an Artist Without Losing Your Mind, Your Shirt, or Your Creative Compass: A Practical Guide by JoAnneh Nagler. And now I am geeking out over the homework where I get assess what creative things I like to do (she gives permission/expectation for there to be many), what things I just have to do in my life, what things I choose to do and how that all balances out. The ultimate goal is to carve out time for making art. Time that you aren't currently using to make art.

Sound familiar, anyone? The name of this blog is "Make Time, Make Art" because I was trying to tell myself to do this all the way back in, oh, 2010 when I launched the blog. Have I made any progress?

I've been quiet lately for a couple of reasons, first, the usual, I haven't been making much art and therefore don't have much to write about. Second, Instagram is a part of my life and such a better place to share photos of happy mushroom and scraps of cloth that will become art. And last, because I have been reading about making art in preparation for you know, actually making art. Perhaps stalling but perhaps trying to come to a healthier mindset about all of it.

JoAnneh Nagler writes:
We are not skilled in enjoyment in our life. We are skilled in fielding immediate needs, addressing weighty responsibilities, and attending to pressing duties. WE feel guilty about giving ourselves art time. And as psychologically simplistic as that sounds, most of us have at least a bucketful or more of this guilt rambling around in our head and heart. We're afraid that if we give ourselves over to our art, we'll somehow become irresponsible and let the rest of our life fall apart.
Ah, yes. That is me. Guilty of guilt. For pity.

So first I had the hurdle of evening owning the title "artist" and then I've had the hurdle of allowing myself to make art. On top of all that, I've had a bit of a mental struggle of how my art and art-making, which is primarily a solitary activity, fits into living out my Christian faith. I don't think I've answered that quite yet but I've come to realize that it is an absolute shame not to use the gifts God gave me. So if He made me an artist and a writer than I better be making art and writing – all to his glory.

My hope and dream and prayer is that my creative work and my ministry work will someday be one and the same. Or at least they will share space in my hours instead of being in separate boxes.

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