Are you like that with your artistic endeavors? Are you able to focus upon what you are creating to the exclusion of all else? Do you say ‘no’ to anything that would stop you from completing, enjoying, or savoring it fully? A storyboard artist Sydney visualizes stories and sketches frames of the story piece by piece.
If you are like many artisans, you often do not stay focused on that one thing until it is done. In fact, the artistic brain finds it nearly impossible at times to stay focused. There are so many other delicious distractions – things to enjoy, learn or more things to create.
I can relate to this one completely. I too must constantly remind myself what it is I am meant to finish. This concept, one that I guide clients to embrace, came home to me more recently as I was developing and promoting The Artist Dream Forum.
The idea of having a community of artists come together to share, learn and grow together, came to me months ago. It was fun to think of all the artists or professionals in the field that could come on the monthly calls to help us all thrive and fully create. It was exciting to think of how we could all soar in the areas we are meant to soar. As the idea percolated and then became a reality, it was joyous to jot down the ideas and speak about the concept. My support network encouraged me to make it happen.
The thing is, as I got into the details of what it would take to make it happen, I suddenly found my creative spark and juices start to dry up. Suddenly the idea was draining and NOT fun! All those steps to get to the finish line were daunting. And of course, as is true for many of you too, I began to put off, procrastinate and set aside. I found myself more interested, suddenly, in something else. Surely that new thing would be the perfect thing to focus upon and certainly it MUST be easier to complete!
Fortunately, I have the benefit of speaking to artists and entrepreneurs every day about this very issue. As I guided my clients to stay the course, keep focused and finish what they began, I heard this for myself as well. As those very words would come out of my mouth, I would think to myself….”Hmmm, am I doing this for my own creative projects?” That very question helped me stick to it and get it done (and realize that I could get help with all those details).
How about you? Do you stay the course?
Peter Sanderson recently shared with me as we were developing his topic for the artist forum, “What Does It Truly Mean to be an Artist?” that it is critically important for an artist to focus upon one thing and do it well until they have complete success. Peter has many ways that he can express in his art, however, he has focused his energy, talents and creative process on one thing… MASKS.
With this guidance from Peter, here are three things for you to consider for you to have success in your artistic endeavors.
1. Stick to one thing. Stop jumping around from one thing to another in the hopes that one of those things will miraculously produce the outcome you desire. That outcome may be notoriety. It could be prosperity. It could be simply selling that one piece. Whatever, the outcome you desire, you must stick to it until you have those results.
I know this is challenging and I can hear the rumble of disagreement… “But Joan, I am creative and have so much talent in many areas. I cannot just stick to one thing when so many things come forth to be created!” I hear you. And I do not disagree. I am suggesting that you stick to one thing until it is completed otherwise NONE of it will be.
2. Focus, focus, focus. This goes along with #1. Once you decide upon the one thing you wish to do, create or develop, then you must focus upon it with full intent. Remember the dog with the bone? You must not give up until it’s done. Do you have to do it all at once? Of course not. Maybe you’ll have to bury it for a short time until you get back to it again. However, it MUST take priority until it is finished
If you find yourself doing other things, that is a sign of avoidance. Notice the signs… procrastination, distraction with other things, or a sudden interest in another class, modality, art approach or creative endeavor. That is just your discomfort surging forth and it’s important to breathe through it and stay focused on the one thing.
3. Let go of Perfection. That’s one that we all seem to have in some form or another. I know it’s a big one for me. Often the very reason you’ll give up on a project or art piece is because you cannot make it perfect
A client of mine did that very thing. She had a beautiful piece in which the hands, feet and face were sculpted in porcelain and the rest of the body was fabric. The piece ended up with flaws – a crack in the wrist was one. That’s when she stopped working on it. And so this beautiful piece sat for months and months, covered up, unfinished and ignored. Perfection is what kept that lovely jewel from being shared with the world.
We must let go of perfection. It will stop you every time sometimes before you even begin. Perfection will convince you that “you aren’t good enough, so why even try.”
This quote says it so well… “It is not irritating to be where one is. It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else!” (John Cage) We always think it’s somewhere else, some other approach or someone else is better at it. Instead, just focus, focus, focus and you will be so much more satisfied, if not joyous, for having done so.
Joan Silva is a spiritually based MONEY Counselor devoted to empowering men, women, couples and small businesses with the tools to live a freedom-based life of their dreams.
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