Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I find myself getting depressed when I’ve been away from engaging in creative endeavors like painting and photography for long periods of time. That’s why its so important for artists to set aside time to explore and seriously investigate their art no matter what their medium may be. Let’s face it…most artists don’t make a living with their art. I’m certainly one of those individuals. I teach more than a full load of classes both in the classroom and online, in addition to having many administrative duties at the college where I work. Art is a integral part of my life and being away from it impacts my state of mind in a negative way. I’m constantly driven to photograph, write and occasionally paint, however my “day job” sucks me dry to the point where I have no creative energy left to make images, paint or even do any serious, thoughtful writing.
Over the years I’ve learned it takes me a good week away from my regular job to decompress and get myself in a conducive mindset to seriously create. Sure..I can take some decent photographs on the weekend if I can get myself into the mood to pick up a camera and get outside to shoot, BUT in reality the creative experience is so much more fulfilling and enriching when I can get away to a retreat, workshop or just break from my normal routine to explore my creative side. It’s so easy to loose touch with the artist within and sometimes I admit I feel like I have. That’s when I realize I must designate some serious time to get away from the demands of the “day job” and just photograph, write and paint. This is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to retirement, because I can focus more time and energy on my creative endeavors than constantly trying to make a buck.
In order to truly immerse oneself in the creative process artists must be free from the distractions of the daily grind. This is the challenge for most artistic people. To let the demands of the world go in order to search within ourselves and seriously begin the journey through the creative process.
I believe it all starts with living “in the moment” and being hypersensitive to the world around us when we are drawing, painting, photographing and/or writing. Learning to let go of the past and not be dwelling on the future is key to taking our art to a higher, more expressive level. This is easier said than done – at least it is for me. I’m planning a workshop next August at the Anam Cara Artist Retreat where we will not only be exploring our respective art forms, we will also be applying some creative techniques for SEEING the world in new and creative ways while CONNECTING with external and internal reality and using these references to fuel our art.