Why Our Focus on "Making it" is Such a Waste

Why Our Focus on "Making it" is Such a Waste

I’ve recently read a few articles about the dance world that talked in depth about how so few dancers actually “make it” in the professional dance industry. Whether it’s from a lack of confidence, a lack of talent, having the wrong body type, or the wrong “look”, only a small percentage of people end up “making it”. This same thought process applies to a lot of fields. Very few singers “make it”. Very few artists “make it”. Very few actors “make it”. Very few football players “make it. Very few athletes of any sort “make it”.

OK. WE GET IT

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Grow Your Artistic Pumpkin Patch (Part 2)

Grow Your Artistic Pumpkin Patch (Part 2)

It’s fall! We made it through Halloween and the leaves are working their way down. We watched the Charlie Brown halloween special and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with our kids. In my corner of the universe, fall is a time of insane busy-ness, and it's also a time for reflection (when I can squeeze it in).

My kids were born in the fall. Because their births were not easy, my anxiety and existential angst tends to peak in the fall. Simultaneously, we have so much joy celebrating the arrival of both our amazing humans (and who doesn't love cake??) Fall symbolizes the time of year when everything is at it's lightest and darkest all at the same time. 

As the leaves come down we’re reminded of how nature is entering a time of rest and renewal. As people we are often amping up with everything this time of year. Sports, plays, activities, school... they are all at their most exciting in the fall. Then we look forward to the holiday season and the winter. So fall = birth, death, renewal, reflection, warm safety and cold air. 

When life get complicated, I like to bring things back to a place of simplicity as much as I possibly can. Like Linus in the pumpkin patch, I try to carve out some alone time with my “pumpkins” of inspiration. You have to believe in something and surround yourself with the things that give you the courage to move forward, or the faith that the goodness is somewhere out there. This year has been a difficult one to remain inspired. It's hard to keep going creatively forward sometimes. Creativity is sort of the antithesis of consistency, but you can't have one without the other. So during the times when I feel my least consistent and motivated I like to surround myself with what is inspiring me. It grounds me, gives me ideas and keeps me moving forward. 

Two years ago I wrote about my very first Artistic Pumpkin Patch. I thought it was long overdue that I share what's inspiring me now…

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Life is a Creative Adventure

Life is a Creative Adventure

Everyone has got something they've given up to get where they are. Maybe it's soccer, or art, or dance, or macrame, or scrapbooking, or a degree you don't use because you chose to stay home with your kids. Many times its something that’s not in your control. Maybe you didn't have the support to pursue the things you wanted to do. Maybe the resources weren't there and you needed to remain practical in order to survive.

Sometimes you’ve had to give up the biggest things. Sometimes it's people, or your home. Rest assured, everyone has something. 

Even if your life is amazing, it’s too easy to get stuck and pine over your “give-ups.” It’s really easy to stagnate where you are and look back at all of the “what-ifs” in your life and feel the sting of those losses. It’s also way too easy to bury many of the things you gave up and assume that you are past them or that you too old or too practical to fit them into your life anymore.

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Grow Your Artistic Pumpkin Patch

Grow Your Artistic Pumpkin Patch

I highly value artistic sincerity. In a world that screams "LOOK AT ME NOW!" and "MONEY IS ALL THAT MATTERS!" I am truly inspired by integrity, simplicity, hard work and value. That sounds so old school, and it's definitely not very glamorous in today's world. (Cue old lady "Back in my day...I walked 10 miles to school with no shoes on in the snow!" voice here).

When I am struggling to create something...

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Your Underappreciated Momativity

Your Underappreciated Momativity

Art.


Art is not just paint on a canvas, a musical performance or carefully choreographed dance steps. So much about everyday life is art. Art and creativity are everywhere and everything. (Sir Ken Robinson says so, so it must be true.)


Mom art.


Becoming a mom is inherently creative. Being a mom and living the day-in and the day-out is...

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Making Art in the Cracks

Making Art in the Cracks

I’ve come to realize that most of my really valuable artistic experiences have always happened in the cracks.

Growing up I did a LOT of community theater. It was a magical, safe place where I could be myself with a similarly odd group of people and also spend a large amount of time pretending to be someone else. My first experiences with this magical world were in the rehearsal space. It was the top floor of an old fire hall. To get upstairs you had to wade through the downstairs garage which was full of old set pieces and painting supplies. It always smelled of a comforting mixture of sawdust, paint thinner and glue. Once you got to the back you made your way up the creaky wooden stairs to the second floor. The space was...

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Creating Even When You Feel Good

Creating Even When You Feel Good

Angst (n.) (ängkst) 

1. A German word referring to "an acute but nonspecific sense of anxiety or remorse". Intense emotional strife. (Collins English Dictionary, 10th ed)

2. (Specific to existential psychology) A normal existential experience; "Angst is...my becoming aware that my existence can become lost, that I can lose myself and my world, that I can become nothing." - Psychologist Rollo May


I have always found it much easier to be creative when going through a period of dark angst. When life is joyful and things are humming along and I'm feeling great - who has the time? When there is sunshine and there are bike rides and happiness abounds, who wants to carve out the time to make something meaningful? I'm sure, like many creative people, my muse tends to visit more and linger longer when...

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Feeling Ashamed of Your Art (or Lack Thereof)

Feeling Ashamed of Your Art (or Lack Thereof)

I want to talk a little bit about artists of all kinds who feel bad about stepping off the artistic path (or on again and off again and on again...). I think that as artists we often feel like we have to justify our choices to leave or take a break from our artistic fields. Whether we leave the path to care for a sick parent, or support a family, or simply because we want to, I think we often feel like we owe the world a "why". I think there is a general sense of shame about not having been able to "make it" as a consistent artist, even if you are still quietly incorporating your art into your daily life or the lives of those around you. There is a feeling that you have to explain...

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Basking in Creative Brilliance

Basking in Creative Brilliance

For a long time during my many periods of creative stasis (aka eating chips and binge-watching Netflix), I have wondered about the secrets of successful people. I've spent more than a reasonable amount of time wondering - how is it that THAT person has THAT creative success?  How did THEY get THERE? As a matter of fact, I've probably spent far more time wondering and fretting than actually DOING (and subsequently getting depressed and doubting myself over having done). Most creative people don't seem to talk very openly about...

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