A few weekends ago I took a trip to my favorite book store (one of the few bookstores left) Barnes & Noble. While there I picked up the books Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron; I just want to focus on The Artist’s Way today. The cover boasts that it’s ‘A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity’, and with me being in a sort of artist’s block–I didn’t think it would hurt. (Plus, I’m a sucker for self-help books.)
The book is a 12-week program to help you ‘recover’ or ‘discover’ your creative self; I consider myself to be doing a little bit of both. Even though I was a little skeptical, I switched up mediums and opened myself up to new subject matter to help with the process. I’m 40 pages in and so far I’m glad that the book caught my eye. It oddly speaks to my soul and acknowledges feelings that I thought I was crazy to have; Like in this excerpt:
“As blocked artists, we tend to criticize ourselves mercilessly. Even if we look like functioning artist to the world, we feel we never do enough and what we do isn’t right. We are victims of our own internalized perfectionist, a nasty internal and eternal critic..” pg. 11
Like the picture above, my creative self is out of focus. I wrestle with not feeling like an artist or even worthy of being an artist all the time. Even while selling paintings, in the back of my head I’m waiting for the person to ask for a refund. I always figured that it was just who I am, but the exercises in this book have shown me that it’s just my way of talking myself out of being great. This book has really made me take a look at my life and art from a different perspective. In 11 weeks I hope to have rediscovered my creative self and hopefully in that time, I will have learned the Artist’s way.