Even though I am on a summer hiatus from making daily art, I still daydream about different series ideas or jot down ideas like “dappled sun among leaves.” You really can’t just turn off your imagination. There are certain people I have followed for years listening to or reading anything they create. Jonathan Fields is one of those people. Twyla Tharp is another.
Here is the original article I wrote about Jonathan Fields and Twyla Tharp.
I'm always on the lookout for articles, books or podcasts about creative habits and daily rituals. Recently, I came across a podcast, Good Life Project devoted to this topic dear to my heart. This episode is called Uncertainty Anchors and was posted just last month in March 2017. I've listened to Jonathan Fields for several years and highly recommend anything he is involved with. He is just that good, wise and articulate. Click the highlighted episode link above to take a listen and find out for yourself. He mentions most of my favorite authors on the topic of creative habits, Twyla Tharp and her book Creative Habits and Steven Pressfield and the War of Art. All in an 11 minute podcast. Most of Fields' podcasts are interviews about an hour long but he disperses in shorter length podcasts with just him talking once in a while.
In this podcast episode, Field's talks about his book Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance from 2012.
Uncertainty can take on many forms, be it political or otherwise. He discusses how rituals can give you a foundation to come back to, a support system. My Every Day Project has given me this creative habit, a daily ritual that provides a form of solace, an entry point into my form of self expression.
In one of my first ever newsletters, I wrote about the white canvas metaphor in Twyla Tharp's book, Creative Habits. I provided an excerpt below.
I love learning about creativity. I am reading a book by Twyla Tharp, the choreographer, called " The Creative Habit. Learn it and Use it for Life. "
The first few pages resonated with me...
”I walk into a large white room. It’s a dance studio...the room is empty... I’m in a room with the obligation to create a major dance piece...To some people, this empty room symbolizes something profound, mysterious, and terrifying: the task of starting with nothing and working your way toward creating something whole and beautiful and satisfying...Some people find this moment - the moment before creativity begins - so painful that they simply cannot deal with it. They get up and walk away from the computer, the canvas, the keyboard...They procrastinate.” -Twyla Tharp
Obviously, I have not been in this exact situation. I am not a world famous choreographer. I am a fabric artist who has been creating art for the past 15 years. However, I have experienced the metaphorical “empty white room.”
I believe we are all creators. We have all faced the “empty white room.” Every day is filled with acts of creation, how we spend our time, what we cook for dinner, how we connect with others, how we view our life purpose, and how we express ourselves through art. Sometimes starting to create anything, an email, a sketch, any piece of art can seem difficult and even overwhelming. Why do people resist creative pursuits and the joys they offer? Basically fear. We all want to express more creativity in our lives. By its very nature, self expression offers a sense of peace and a path to more mindful lives. I see creativity as a tool for mindful living. But, how do we overcome the resistance and the fear to just start creating?
This is what motivates me to teach...(and now write my weekly Studio Notes)
Our challenge is to fill the “empty white room,” the blank canvas, with our creative expressions.
There is a huge uncertainty in the life of someone who wants to create. And let's face it. As I said several years ago in the quote above, all of us are creators. As an artist, you're constantly asking what now? The daily practice foundation can gently encourage you or it can drag you kicking and screaming to get to the studio to create, to the desk to write, to the chair to knit, to the park to photograph. You do it because you told yourself you would do it.
With all this in mind, I am getting off to another 100 day adventure with the #The100DayProject and Elle Luna on Instagram. My current design plan is to have four 25 Day pieces that interact with each other. My working title is Trees and Windows. The overall idea is to have contrasting designs that play off of each other in an inverse relationship.
There is still time to join in the 100 Day Project. Do not let a start date be the thing that makes you take a pass. You can start anytime. The support of the 100 Day Project community is worth the trouble of doing it now. It is worth it.