Is there a potent mission to being an artist at time of 9/11 and of a depressed economy? Could it be that troubled times are indicative of tremendous societal need for visionaries to show up as leaders, and offer ecologically sound creative solutions to current challenges humanity is facing? And if there is truth to contemporary artist mindset appearing to be enslaved by its own conditioned beliefs and subsequent identities, how then can it be freed? This presentation will progress through ten ideas revealing a pathway for artists to travel. It will reveal how creative power to be shifting reality can promote success and acceptance for which artists have longed. It will stress how coming back to serving community will “multidimensionalize” process of art making and give it meaning. In this journey, ten following principles build upon each other to illuminate what artists and leaders have in common: fierceness of their vision.
If communication is main purpose of art disciplines, in what ways can one make it proficient? And if it is artist’s passion and raison d’ętre to express, how can he/she convey his/her message so that it will be perceived as accurately as possible and received as fully as may be? It has been said before that communication is not what is being said, but result of what is being said. Mastering a skill, be it drawing, writing, sculpting, painting, dancing, acting, etc, is a beginning in optimizing receptivity of what is being said. Although crucial, such mastery is not enough; it has to be fueled by heart, which is real transmitter of message, enabled by its devotion to a higher cause. In effect, heart (heART) knows that “This is not about me!”
It appears that artists are repelled by thought of order, and fascinated enough by chaos they have elected it as their domain. Yet in scientific terms, isn’t chaos part of order? Why therefore settling for just a tiny part of vastness? Maybe another reason why order is so unacceptable to current artist mind is that it is traditionally associated to male and linear behavior. Interesting interpretation, as order was in ancient time revolving around keeper of hearth, a feminine role honored as most beautiful role of all. Returning to it was more than a goal to every hunter, it was a true inspiration and replenishing of his strength. Could it be that artists, by denying themselves order, also reject nurturing, and vitalizing properties of order? The practicality of order (finding stuff, gaining in productivity) joins to a spirituality of order (going from freeing physical space to mental space, and from shame and isolation to a greater social impact.)
3. Absence of self The question here is who is speaking? Is it mature leader whose creative ability brings a solution, or is it wounded child who monopolizes attention? How important is it to dress differently, or obey an atypical social code? One can easily confuse freedom with rebellion of independence, which actually aims at dissociating and refusing to be dependent on anyone. In end, this is not freedom, only a guise for freedom. Such response is contrary to purpose of art, to communicate and therefore build bridges. Being different cannot be issue, being authentic is! When connectedness is created, it won’t trigger fear or rejection of those who follow their own drummer. Just like it makes sense to start with a blank canvas, it makes sense to relate to another after one has emptied heart from any childhood pain. And although not being absorbed by societal sleep and indoctrination is essential to art, successfully delivering naturally follows simplicity (absence of self) and clarity (order)!
What does it take to be innovative? Innovation requires that an individual move beyond his or her comfort zone, and be willing to fail. Thus it starts in an act of faith, and in a relaxation. Mind power is creativity: I create more of “that” by placing my attention on it. Therefore knowing how I can better control my attention becomes very important. Much has been said on power of positive thinking, and little on its connection to relaxation and trust. If I trust my next play will be most inspired, and choose to place my attention on that thought, it will be. Where there is trust, there is confidence, because something else, greater than me, is allowed to come in. Very possibly worrying about an outcome, and trying too hard prevents solution to spontaneously occur. Just like a womb needs to be receptive to be fertilized, mind has to be free of possession of negative thinking (anxiety, blame, shame, depression, obsession) to be able to in-novate. The absence of conditioned self, doubter, skeptic, worrier, hard worker, will then “close deal,” which explains how great geniuses always have their best ideas in most unexpected situations, e.g. brushing their teeth, buying groceries. That is precisely time when they are trying so little they allow another way of looking at it…
Great leaders are highly competent, because they are dedicated to a high level of performance, learning, growth, and improvement. How can an artist espouse such curiosity and steadfastness? Picasso mentioned how he had to forget all roses, before he could paint one. How then can one give up thought that one knows something, and truly keep an explorer mind, a child mind? And if I think I know, what is motivation behind my actions? Commitment, and courage go hand in hand, as they both require full engagement, no less. What is keeping me from deciding to do next right thing, from marrying my own mission and vowing “I do?” People do not follow leaders who are not committed. Commitment and responsibility can be measured by hours you spend and how you spend them, money you spend and how you spend it, and by what you do for others. Spend a few minutes each day analyzing your time, your checkbook, and your volunteer work. Look closely at where your time goes, how you spend your money, and how you give back to community. You may be very surprised at what you find.