My intention for the Artist’s Reception last Friday for my The Every Day Project Exhibit was to have good conversations about art and creativity. Happily, this happened during the whole reception and it was really FUN. I listened carefully to what people were saying for two main reasons. I want to know how my art resonates with the viewer. Sometimes your art is so close, it is difficult to see the "forest for the trees.” In addition and most importantly, I am always looking for article topics that you readers might find interesting. This is what I heard...
I gathered a gold mine of ideas but the most consistent conversation was how The Every Day Project inspired people to look differently at creativity, to either create more often or to figure out what to create that has meaning for them.
People were attracted to the idea of the Every Day Project and having a routine of a regular creative habit. I think the desire to create is universal and that is why people are so attracted to this idea. It makes the process do-able. Once we figure out what interests us, we have an open door to a secret garden of our own making, a gift to ourselves to step out of time even for a short period of time. It may sound hokey, but it is true.
Many people at the Reception have been reading my articles for the past year but several were new to my art. I was particularly interested in what resonated from my past writings and what actions people took because of what they read.
One person started using a goal setting app on her phone to help her commit to creating for 15 minutes a day. I love that she put no pressure on herself for what she is supposed to be doing for the 15 minutes. She could just think about creating and she could do whatever she wants in that 15 minutes. The freedom she has set up for herself will make her want to do this habit every day. This 15 minutes a day could be great goal for people who aren't quite sure what to do creatively or those stuck with a creative block.
Take 15 minutes to think about what you might like to do. These whispers and nudges come to us when we are quiet.
One person talked to me a few days before the reception about setting up a regular creative habit for her art, maybe an Every Other Day Project. How often you create is less important than committing to a regular frequency. We discussed how to set up the project for success with many of the decisions about color palette and size decided at the beginning of the project making the daily creative process even easier.
Someone else discussed how she is inspired to think of ideas of how to bring a creative habit into her art routine to prepare for an upcoming art show.
Another person is thinking about adding a daily habit of drawing to get back into the habit of creating when she graduates from college.
A fellow math and science person (like myself) who texted me before the Reception said she is opening her thought to what she might want to pursue creatively.
One person spent time looking very closely at the 4 pieces hung on the brick wall. He was very interested in the idea of a visual diary as I sew each day in consecutive order without rearranging the designs.
Others were interested in the idea of a set time to create each day. I used to make my daily square in the morning at 9 AM but now I use my mornings for writing. I've moved my studio time to 1 PM. If I cannot make it at 1 PM, I make sure to set a timer on my phone for the revised time to make sure I get it done.
One thing I learned over the years is you never know who will really connect with your art. Make no assumptions. As I talked to people, I realize my art resonates with people through both the color and design. I find that so interesting because those are my two pillars for each piece I make. I decide on my inspiration and then ask two questions...what color and what design. People are attracted to color. It makes non-object art accessible. The movement within the design is visually interesting and that is what this is all about.
This show and my art are not about ego, my ego or your ego. This is about creating what lights you up and what brings you joy. Some critics in the art world could be howling about this democratic notion of the arts. But I don't care. I have seen people benefitted so much (me included) by changing their view of themselves to "I am creative." Talking to people at the reception about art and creativity encourages me to keep writing and talking about these ideas that I hope make a difference in people's lives.
So create more and enjoy the ride.
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