As artists, resistance may be our greatest challenge. I know it’s mine. But when I push back, and begin, even when the energy to move forward doesn’t feel available in the moment, I never regret it. When I ignore all of the temptations to not create, and instead, step into the process of making, it’s magical. You know the feeling: time disappears, ideas flow, the mind empties, worries evaporate, stress melts away, moods brighten…it’s miraculous. AND (here’s the bonus!) every other part of my life is better when I’m fully engaged in my own creative process.
On the days when resistance is particularly strong, I remind myself that perfection is not the goal…practice is. To live each day as a practicing artist and to allow all else that is false to slip away…that’s the path I want to follow. A daily practice can take many forms…how we each define it can be as unique as the work that we make.
What I’ve discovered along the way is that “going it alone” doesn’t work terribly well for me. I do far better when I align myself with members of my creative tribe….an individual or community that cares about my joy as an artist and is equally committed to their own. This is where synergy lives!
Over the years, my creative tribe has shown up in many different ways: studio-mates, caring teachers, accountability partners, mentors, artistic collaborators, coaches, colleagues, mastermind partners, art salon members, brainstorming and critique groups, art associations, engaged students, classmates, authors, and more. What all of these connections have held in common, is that with each, there has been a deep commitment to pursuing the path of creativity. Add to that, the majority of these connections involved an expectation: to be an active member of the tribe, I had to show up. After more than two decades as a practicing artist and teacher, showing up is still the best way I know of to beat resistance.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen