The Artist’s Way: Week 6

Check in: Week 5: Recovering a Sense of Possibility

I completed 7 out of 7 morning pages. However on one morning I wrote 2 pages… My creative writing, or thoughts about projects usually start to arise about 1.5 pages in each morning – before that it is all minor fears and gripes, fretting over all the nothings in life. I get that out of the way and then creativity starts to intrude. (Which is lovely)

I did my artist’s date this week. I took myself out to a second-hand book shop, that also sells amazing coffee, and sat and read. I ended up purchasing an art book on the life and work of painter Henri Matisse. Beautiful book and reading through it taught me a lot about process and dedication. It felt good to finally put some time into myself.

Again, I haven’t experienced synchronicity, but I’m not out and about doing things or having social interaction. It’s ‘lock-down’ and being in the world is a very different experience right now. I’m OK with this as my creative output has increased and I’m loving where these new ideas are going.

Reflection

Week 6 is difficult. Not gonna lie. This entire journey through ‘The Artist’s Way’ has been very up and down for me, but this week those peaks and valleys have hit a new level. With understanding why I’ve been blocked brings a sense of anger, and resentment at myself for not seeing what was right in front of me – ME.

On the other side – finally synchronicity is beginning to flow and some things are happening – all because of this course (will discuss this in next weeks blog), but very excited for it. I’m starting to find a freshness to my ideas, a curiosity and excitement I just haven’t had for SOOOO long. But with this is fear, seeing that is a good start – I know – but I also know there is some hard work to do.

Spent an evening listening to old vinyl and playing with plasticine

Catch you next week xx.

The Artist’s Way: Week 4 & 5

I didn’t write last week – life kind of took over and I just didn’t get to it. However, I’m now well into this course of Julia Cameron’s, so will give you the latest update.

Check in: Week 3: Recovering a sense of Power

  • I wrote 7 out of 7 morning pages. However, 2 morning I only wrote 2 pages as I was sick. The morning pages have become integral to my morning. They have become meaningful and creative. I am so grateful for starting this course and finding how incredible morning pages are.
  • Being unwell affected my week. I had planed out the artist’s date for Saturday, however woke up in excruciating pain and ending up in bed for the day.
  • I did not experience synchronicity this week but I am seeing myself and how my past has influenced how I engage with people and how I engage with creativity. A couple of things happened this week to open my eyes to this – so I guess a type of synchronicity.
  • What I have mainly learned from this week is to get out of bad habits and replace them with ones that serve me and my creativity.

Check in: Week 4: Recovering a Sense of Integrity

  • I wrote 7 out of 7 pages. Some of the mornings toward the end of the week became difficult – starting to feel a little scratchy.
  • I did not do my artist’s date. So haven’t been great at this exercise. Not sure why I’m finding this so challenging but will endeavour to do better.
  • Not feeling synchronicity – except in my creative writing.
  • Overall, I’m being a lot more creative. I didn’t realise how blocked I have become. The non-reading challenge has been so, so, tough and I have realised just how much time I waste on stupid stuff that is filling my brain with clutter. It’s like a dumping ground – no wonder I can’t create.

Reflection

The last couple of weeks have been very up and down. I’m absolutely creating more, but also feel at odds with myself a lot. I think it’s because I’m learning much more about how I operate, and how I create. I’ve put a lot of obstacles in my way and it has been tough to see some of them. But other times, I’m having more fun, I seem a bit lighter with myself, maybe more curious. So all in all, it is very challenging but very worth it.

Catch you next time xx.

The Artist’s Way: Week Three

Check in: Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity

  • I completed 7 out of 7 morning pages. On most mornings the writing naturally flowed and on several of those mornings it progressed into creative writing, which has given me hope to continue with this. However, I did not complete the artist’s date this week. I think going back into lock-down because of COVID–19, (second time round for Auckland, New Zealand), pushed me into a type of lethargy and I just couldn’t commit to anything. Which is silly, as there are plenty of things I can do and enjoy and be frivolous with, so the challenge this week is the ARTIST’S DATE!!!
  • I enjoyed the other activities I worked on, but probably didn’t put in quite as many hours as I did in the first week. However, I feel like I’m understanding what I need to create in a more sustainable way.

Reflection

This week has been interesting, I’m enjoying exercises more this week. They seem to focus on childhood and reflecting on childhood memories, especially to do with play and creativity. So this has inspired my Artist’s Date, I’m going to be a bit more youthful in my approach. I tend to get too serious too quickly about process and activities and forget about having fun. I’m not sure why. But realising this is a good step to get a bit more lighter with my creativity.

The other thing I have been doing everyday this week is a very quick portrait sketch of myself. Not in a literal sense, but rather trying to express how I’m feeling through the sketching process. Below are a couple of samples.

Also, I fell in love with this quote, and it’s been a bit of a mantra for me this week.

Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life. Anger is the fuel that propels us into our new one. Anger is a tool, not a master. Anger is meant to be tapped into and drawn upon. Used properly anger is use-full.

Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very, very loyal friend.

Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way p. 62

That’s it for this week. I hope you are all doing well. Catch you next time xx.

The Artist’s Way: Week Two

I’ll start each week in this series by checking in with the past week.

Week One: Recovering a Sense of Safety

  • I did 7 out of 7 morning pages. At first I found it difficult, but then suddenly creativity started to flow, for the first time in a long time. I didn’t feel as blocked as I have been feeling and I even started to think about filmmaking again as a possibility.
  • I completed my first ‘artist’s date’, which was watching a film at home due to COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland. I watched John Cassavettes, Faces (1968). Remarkable film, I have already watched this film several times but just felt like I needed to see this again. It reminded me about the use of ‘space’ in film, how to use it cinematically and also for storytelling purposes.
  • I also did a number of the other exercises, I wouldn’t say I did 1-2 hours a day, but I did my best.

Reflection

The first 3 days were really difficult. I just felt blocked and grudgingly did the exercises, thinking that it’s just another ‘self-help’ book and nothing would come of it. However, by day 4 something happened. I started to think about a character for my next film. I started writing!! I just haven’t done that for so long. And this time, I didn’t think about what the end product would be, I just enjoyed outlining who this person was. Just having that happen has changed my perspective and the rest of the week was nuanced with many little creative opportunities and moments. I’m not going to read too much into it, but it gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going.

Out of all the exercises, the morning pages are becoming more important, and I can imagine they will become a creative life-line for the future. I think it is these pages that are releasing some blocks, as my morning writing goes into all sorts of territory, which I just hadn’t expected – I guess it is allowing me to put my views, and feelings out there and just in doing that release things I’ve been holding onto. In week two there are more exercises to do, I like the ones with the pie-charts – I just like anything visual so got straight into them, however got stuck on the, 20 things I love to do… sounds so simple, but ended up putting in some dumb fillers, so I will attempt that one again.

This blog post by Madeleine Dore reflects her journey over the entire 12 week course. It’s a very perceptive piece on the entire course and reveals the unfolding journey Madeleine goes through. I’m only at the beginning, but it was really interesting moving along the 12 weeks with her in one read.

Hope you are all well. Catch you next week xx.

The Artist’s Way: Week One

After blogging everyday for July, I needed a break and a chance to reflect on what I want out of this blog. The main thing I want to do is engage in conversation about creativity. So, with that in mind, I’m starting the 12 week course using Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I will be discussing my learning adventure over the next 12 weeks into creativity using this book as a tool.

I started on Sunday, so my course weeks will be from Sunday to Sunday, although I will post mid-week. There is an enormous amount of reviews, and accounts on the web about this book, so I will endeavour to link something of value every week, along with my own review and reflections on the exercises. The first link is Julia talking with Russell Brand. This is relevant at the moment as they talk of being in lock-down due to COVID-19. Their discussion moves around, but it does show her thinking through artists issues right now and how to overcome them.

What I have learnt so far? Firstly, the morning pages. If you haven’t heard of these, they are the foundation of the course. This exercise consists of writing 3 pages every morning. There are no rules for these pages, you can put down anything that comes to mind. And, that is exactly what has been happening to me. I’ve only completed 4 mornings, but I just start jotting down anything that comes into my head until I fill up 3 pages. I haven’t done this long enough to reflect as yet. The next exercise is the artist date. Where you take yourself out to fill up your creative reserve, this is a weekly date so by the end of it I should have taken myself out 12 times. Brilliant idea – I just don’t know where I’m going to go, and how I will fit it in – so, we shall see.

That’s it. Just an introduction into what the next 12 weeks will focus on.

Hope you are all well. Catch you next week xx.

31 July Blog

This is my last daily blog. I have missed a few days through the month, but I’m still pretty happy with my accomplishment. So instead of writing 800-1200 words once a week, I wrote just a small amount everyday during July.

It was a challenge, and more difficult than I first thought it would be. But I think challenges, whether they work out or not, are a great way to re-focus or refine what we are trying to do.

Over July I kept thinking – why am I blogging? What am I blogging for? I think because it was everyday it pushed me to hone in on the reason for starting this, and if I should keep going.

I started Kick last year, in October, as I wanted to inspire creativity, and also reflect on my own processes and thoughts when creating. My angle was to inspire the process of creativity over any product or outcome. And I’m still so passionate about this.

However, I think some of my blogs have got a bit off track – so I do need to re-focus and this challenge has taught me to stick to my initial reason for starting this.

So this is it. A little bit everyday for a month. Done.

Catch you next time.

30 July Blog

I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle a lot lately and enjoying his discussions on being in the ‘Now’. To understand his idea of ego, I read this blog and it helped me a lot. It is not his blog, just a definition I found online.

I’ve been trying to stay present, and sometimes I can remain in the present, (on and off), for a time. But it is difficult, not something that is natural (yet), but I guess with more practice the discipline will become easier.

If I concentrate on my senses, it helps, and I’ve noticed I’m enjoying little moments a lot more, like; birds singing, sky, plant life, the warmth of sun through the window, texture of food – just moments. I was listening to a youtube video of Eckhart’s and he discusses his definition of gratitude – which I found so lovely. It is about 55mins along the timeline, so if you just want to hear that skip to that point. However, the whole video is worth a listen.

That’s all I want to say today. My month of blogging is almost over. Catch you tomorrow xx.

29 July Blog

In drawing class last night we attempted a ball with shadow. This was my first class. About 4 years ago I did a oil painting class but haven’t done anything since, other than my own little doodles.

Really nice to get back into the classroom as a student. Normally I teach, so to be on the other side of the table was a total joy. I recommend classes. Scare yourself.

Catch you tomorrow xx.

27 July Blog

Sometimes it’s just the little things. Not the big issues, the conflicts at work, or the pressures on our time. What makes life unique is just the small stuff. Playing, sharing some food, having a laugh.

Catch you tomorrow xx.

July 26 Blog

The creative process needs to have more value than the outcome, why, because if it doesn’t you reduce time into only being of worth if productive. Yesterday, I planned out a birthday card to paint. This birthday card is for a 6 year old boy and 6 year old boys, don’t really care for cards. So, this time of planning, designing and painting is absolutely about me engaging in process – a really good exercise in being present with your creativity.

I still have more to do on this, I want to put a ‘6’ on the car in blue glitter, and stencil ‘Happy Birthday’. I could easily purchase a card, (some people may think that my time is wasted), but the enjoyment in creating something is rewarding – you can’t purchase the process.

Catch you next week xx.