Following Your Bliss

Artists are no more or less immune to relentlessly workaholic interior monologues than other folks.  I think we just talk back with more conviction, because we know that so often the right prompt is a quiet voice, and we hear that guidance best by becoming still, even for a little while.  When we feel enthralled by some process or theme, how much of our artistic “to do” list can we afford to discard in order to pursue this deeply satisfying creative direction?  How do we discern self-indulgence from true calling?  Given the overwhelming busyness of each day, how do we find appropriate discipline and sane time management while following our bliss?

Deadlines and commissions and other commitments can help or hinder our artistic growth.  It takes many hours to master a craft.   If one accepts conventional ways of  determining time as “well-spent” or “wasted,” then achieving mastery in a craft may lead to misery rather than bliss.

My heart skips a beat when I’m on the right track in my studio work, and when I feel this thrill I know that the way I’m spending time is a kind of essential nourishment.  Is it indulgent to express one’s own unique vision:  to take the time to synthesize what one knows and knows how to do, to create something new?

For professional artists, the business of art in a challenging economy may suggest that spending lots of time on each creation is not financially viable.  Despite this challenge, it’s important to continue to explore and grow.  When I’m in the studio on a good day — surrounded by fiber and full of ideas — it feels like falling in love, over and over.  Sometimes, working on a complicated piece feels like a difficult conversation: the outcome is an unfolding dynamic; how will it turn out?  Sometimes the tedious parts of the feltmaking process feel like scullery work and demand patience and care and a sort of submission: I cannot create a glorious nuno scarf without slowing down so much that I am having to remind myself repeatedly to slow down even more.

Each artist continually navigates the balance of “following your bliss” and following through with responsibilities, promises, mundane tasks.  Inspired, bliss-fueled art work glows.  Choose bliss.

Published in: on January 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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