As I began to recreate my life after a destructive divorce back in 1990, I picked up a copy of The Artist's Way at a bookstore. Desperately I needed to find a pathway back to my creative energy. Cameron’s techniques opened an understanding to how my social enculturation as a child, to conform, led to a maldevelopment of my creativity skills (“we don’t have time to play/draw/paint.” I most often heard...but that’s exactly what we need to keep our children doing - playing, drawing, painting - creatively into adulthood). Her basic principles on creativity kept me on firm ground being open to the abundance of creativity no matter where I explored. I ritually used her tools of morning pages for those first 5 years; they have evolved into my own daily journal and reflective writing. I find them extremely valuable as a place to dump the garbage thoughts that automatically generate as well as be conscious to old or hidden messages about me as a spiritual being on my creative journey. My artist dates are usually a walk in nature or strolls through art communities/studios looking to be inspired by what others are working on. (check out some sweet studio spaces here in Houston 1) https://www.silverstreethouston.com 2) https://www.txrxlabs.org 3) https://www.hardyandnancestudios.com ). And her artist contract, I use these to take learn expeditions such as with Sketchy - 30 Faces, 30 Days; ICAD - Index Card A Day; or #the100dayproject. All to stretch my creative muscles, and usually provided within a creative community to share and learn more from others.
The Artist's Way sets the foundation for one to begin a creative process. First by calling attention to the patterns of old beliefs and negative thoughts a person holds about themselves. Second, Cameron reminds us that in order to create we must begin, no matter where we show up. B - E - G - I - N. It's okay to have work that doesn't sell or isn't your best work, as that too is part of the creative process. The act of creating is not about selling your work, although that can be a motive, she urges artists to not let money be the deciding motive for one to take action. I make my artwork for me, to explore what wants to be created - the energy that flows from me out into the world. Something that now exists, did not before. I am a creator. One last thing, a bit of Cameron's creative philosophy is to surrounding yourself with a supportive community. No matter whether it's family or friends, or being part of an on-line creative community - show up, share, and give. Grow with the abundance of connectedness.
What I have learned along this way is to be intentional, to play more, to let go of the perfectionist thoughts. To be open to the creative process no matter where it leads me. To follow along without judgment to see what creative being emerges. To hold dear that my inner child is learning more about the creative process, and how it supports me as an evolving adult. There is a generosity the creative spirit holds...most of the time I am unconscious to the potential; yet when I open my imagination to accept what is possible, I am always amazed by the abundance that shows up. It is my hope to pass along these fundamental principles from The Artist's Way, to not only assist my granddaughter with her own creative journey in life, but to all the other sweet souls out there, searching for a place to understand creativity ...a little bit better.
I encourage you to buy a copy of The Artist's Way for a better understanding of your own creative process. Whether you're a master artist or beginning artist, this is an excellent book.