Read about my loving creative process, and how my that process came to be!
I've mentioned that I'm more of a process artist, than not. I don't create to make money, or impress. It isn't about the artwork.
It's about the creative process. The experiences. Serendipity. An unending flow of ideas and feelings—and the exploration of new ideas.
My own creative process is about improving my health and happiness, while having a positive affect on the world.
Process of love
My own creative process reaches out beyond visual art.
I've combined behavioral therapiess, which affect me, with Buddhist concepts that affect all things. I use wisdom of writers, and philosophers—experience in using art for therapy; Everything I've learned throughout my life, thus far.
It's difficult to love anyone wholly, without first loving yourself. It sounds cliche, and it's also true.
The first stage of my "new" creative process was the healing process. No more feeling crappy over failed art. No more feeling down. My process would first be my own form of art therapy.
Then, it would become other things.
After over a year of successfully treating myself with art therapy, my capacity for love increased. I began to express more love outwardly. This is the direction that my creative process was taking.
Dealing with mistakes
Lets face it, mistakes aren't really that big a deal usually.
In any creative process, mistakes are expected; Any artist looking to be happy & successful must have the confidence, self-esteem, and wisdom to handle mistakes gracefully.
This relates to the part about loving myself. I tweaked my creative process so that I would come across more mistakes, and master thinking of them as opportunities.
By increasing the ambiguity, and unexpected events, I learned how to look at mistakes as new opportunities.
You know, It worked! I am much more flexible now, and my self-esteem is in a healthier spot.
These lessons spilled into the rest of my life, and now I'm more able to deal with everyday problems than before. It just gets better and better!
These lessons are helping me spread love, and happiness.
Hassle free creation
A key part of my process, is the need for art to be quick, and hassle free. I need to be able to create dozens of attractive artworks without being bored, or tired—every day.
I've got lots of love to spread, so I need the energy to stay busy all day!
Both digital and mixed media art help me with that need. They are my weapons for telling stories about love.
This desire for hassle free art comes from my unique focus on artistic process, and from developing a creative process that was therapeutic.
For a decade I've been shattering prejudice, and stigma. I tell just about everyone that I'm bipolar, and then set a great example.
Sounds a little crazy? Haphazard? That doesn't matter. It works, and it works often.
Simple as that.
Those experiences taught me what I know about leading by example—and changing minds.
And how to be courageous.
Exploration of ideas
Lets face it, intent is great...but without knowledge and mastery, it's hard to be confident.
It's even harder to stand firmly behind something if you haven't formed solid opinions and ideas about it.
In deciding how to approach the business of spreading love, I journal. A lot.
Journaling is one (great) way that I process & develop thoughts. It also allows me to figure out exactly where I stand on something...or how passionately I will pursue it.
If you want to take an effective stance on something, know about it—and more so, know how you feel about it.
Art does not have to transmit a clear message to be art. The message doesn't have to make sense to the viewer. Surely, a lot of art is like this.
With my goals, I need everything to be somewhat clear. It doesn't have to be exact, but....
- when someone looks at my art they must see love.
- In my business decisions, they must see love.
- In my words, they must see love.
- In my actions, they must see love.
The decision to focus more on the content of my art is a new one, but I feel it's important.
I often ask "What am I going to say?" as I start to make my initial unplanned marks. This is not revolutionary, but it is new for me.
In truth, what I am going to say comes down to a lot of long-term plans that I'm constantly creating. I speak a little on that planning in the bottom half of this post, about my creative process.
Clarity of express is a work in progress, for me. It will be a key part of my creative process, if I am to attain my goals, and succeed in my efforts.
Encouraging myself to love
This loving creative process I am speaking of...a lot of it comes down to not only being who I am, but changing who I am.
My process involves improving my capacity for love, by using the behavioral tactics and philosophies I've learned in the past decade.
As I mentioned, I pull from Buddhist philosophy, behavioral therapies (namely cognitive behavioral therapy), mindfulness, and the experience of using art as therapy off and on, for my entire life.
The progression of my process
I say, "art is love", because my creative process has transformed me into a more loving, healthy, and happy person.
This didn't happen all at once. Here's a rough outline of where I was in recent years.
Before, I was concerned only with creating artwork. I wanted to impress people. I created art at the expense of my health.
Although I did create some awesome artwork before 2011, I was quite sick. I had no respect or love for myself.
I began to learn to love myself. My process at this time was about healing my wounds, and being happy. It was not about creating beautiful artwork.
Successfully achieving a therapeutic experience, with art, was my life's focus—and it worked!
I started to think about how I could use art to positively influence the world, and other people. Figuring out how to do this effectively has been a timely process!
I also started to explore ideas about people, and society, with my art. I believed in statements like "love all", but wasn't expressing myself in ways that would help people very much. I wasn't really telling my kindhearted story.
I've been exploring ideas about love, inclusion, community, individuality, kindness, respect, as well as specific social issues.
I've also been real healthy for a while now, which allows me to focus more on the well-being of others!
This is when I began expressing my loving beliefs outwardly, in my art and in my words
I've been working on making connections & learning how to spread my art more effectively.
I've started to look to my local community, in Leominster, MA. Doing art scavenger hunts, which are enjoyed by local kids.
I've been making connections, and making friends at the Leominster Art Center & Gallery.
See my art-related goals that I'd like to see happen in Leominster, MA. I'm hoping my initiative will inspire others to help form a better art scene in Leominster!
This work is never-ending. There's always more to do.
I'll be focusing on ways to bring the loving story of my creative process into the light, for others to enjoy.
Connect with me!
I'd love to hear from you.
Say Hello! Give me feedback! Chat into the wee hours of the night!