Monday, August 26, 2013

Azores Day 15: I'm Getting What I Came Here For (it's time to get deep, Blog)

Blog, I'm going to get all Artist's Way on you now because today was rather rainy and my morning pages have made me aware of the things I want to do, not the things I have to do.

What is The Artist's Way? Well, it's something that a lot more people know about than I realized. Carly gave me the book back when she was visiting in July (which I did not document because I was too busy being a blocked artists, AKA not posting at all). She had gone through it a year or so ago and had documented her progress on her very own blog. She swears by it as a way to open up creatively and artistically. Basically I've been writing these things called "morning pages" every day and I go on weekly "artist dates" where I basically hang out by myself and think about shit. I have no idea if I'm doing it correctly, but one thing I noticed today was that I went into Carly's studio of my own will and made some art. By myself.

A little backstory: When we were freshmen in college, living in this no-longer-existent dorm, Carly and her art friends would do this thing every once in awhile called "Art Night" where they would get together and make art at night. They were creative in their work, but not in the naming of their extracurricular activities I guess.

"Gross!" I would proclaim whenever it was Art Night. "Art is something I don't do! I hate drawing and painting!"

But Carly was fun to hang out with (it's so nice that things in that regard haven't changed) so I would put up with this Art Night. She tried to make me like art by introducing me to collage, but all I ended up doing was gluing a cut-out of a finger tip onto a piece of paper in an attempt to make it resemble a rocket. I felt stupid and sad and confused and angry. Art wasn't for me and hasn't been since.

That is until I sat in Carly's studio with her on my first evening here. She gave me a canvas, some paint, and a few tips and suddenly I was totally ok with where things were going.

I arrived in a land where dragonflies travel in packs and peacock feathers grow out of magic bubbles. Obviously.
Yes, I give mad props to Carly for being patient with me and for giving me the tools with which I could create. However 11 years ago she had done the same thing and I wasn't able to get myself to a place where I could just play with what was in front of me and see what happens. What's different now? Well, I'm almost 30, so that's probably got something to do with it. I've gone through some shit in my 20's, like everyone, that has made me a more interesting person: relationships, jobs, traveling, drinking, crying... the usual.

But what I really attribute for my actual ability to just relax and play with the colors and paper that were in front of me is my progression with The Artist's Way. I know it sounds cheesy, but it totally has put me in a different creative space. I'm not planning on making an art career or anything, but I've discovered that the bare-bones act of physically creating something right in front of your eyes is very inspiring and demonstrative of how the creative process works for other mediums of writing, acting, music, poetry, whatever. The muse can be something as simple as gravity pulling the paint to the canvas and the inspiration derived from it can create all sorts of crazy awesome shit.

So today, when I was feeling like I should go outside and explore down by the ocean and then go buy some milk and eggs for more bread pudding because that bread isn't going to eat itself, I decided no. I was going to do what I wanted to do and that was stay in and work on some art. It felt weird, but also exciting. Carly wasn't there to guide me or give me tips. I was doing this alone and had no one to trust but myself.

I'm not sure where it's going, but Julia Cameron would be proud.
I don't know if I'm doing The Artist's Way right and I don't know if I'm putting the paint on the canvas right and I don't know if the things I'm brainstorming and writing about are right. But I'm learning not to care about right or wrong with any of it because they don't matter. It's pretty liberating and it's way better than the stuffy 18 year-old me trying to navigate a collage like it was a science experiment.


Only Julia Cameron's magic spiritual art god knows the truth.

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