Wednesday 4 November 2009

The Artist's Way - Week 11 & check in



Julia points out that being true to our inner artist often results in work that sells - but not always. The mistake we often make as artists is to value our work on its commercial capability rather than its true creative essence. Art is a personal and spiritual experience. It's part of who we are. We draw on our inner artist to encourage a piece to come forth and this is what we should be giving value to, not judging it by whether or not it has market value. We need to validate the wonderful and amazing artists that we are. The need to create comes from a yearning deep within and this is where the true value and honour lies. It's important to surround ourselves with people who understand this and support us. If our goal is only to make money, then we have basically sold our inner artist over to commercialism and we lose sight of the true value in our work. We need to create what we are drawn to create...simple as that.


Creativity is a spiritual practise.
It is not a business; though it may generate business.

We often get lost in the money-making side of things. When we find the success we have been hoping for, we are then faced what? We start to feel the pressure to stay at the top or to keep producing better and better work. Stress quickly follows and before we know it, we're blocked creatives. (To clarify - This certainly isn't meaning that we shouldn't sell our work or strive for success in our art but, during the process, we shouldn't lose sight of our true creative soul.)


This category is what best suits me, I think, as Julia speaks of blocked creatives who think of all the things they want to do but don't. Yep, that's me.

To move past this type of creative block, we need to move out of our head and into our work. Creativity needs action so we must learn the art of doing.

To kick start our bodies, Julia recommends a daily 20 minute walk. Inspiration is everywhere. We often hear of people referring to Zen moments while they are exercising which essentially is tapping into their well of creativity and connecting with their souls. Successful people will often say their best ideas or solutions came to them while in their 'Zen' moments.

To keep the body in good health is a duty;
Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.


Morning pages are a meditation...a practise that brings us closer to our creativity and Higher Self. It helps the process even more if we devise rituals to help keep us spiritually centred. Julia suggests creating an artist's altar in a special room or corner for this very purpose. We can fill our altar with things that make us happy.....things that hold special meaning for us. We can create small, self-devised rituals that are good for our soul.

Part of the wall behind my studio altar

Think dance, music, scent, shells, rock, texture, beautiful pictures.....make it a sensory experience.

part of my studio altar

Okay, my artist's altar needs some dressing up but this is the way it has been for about a year now. This altar is in my studio and I like the idea of burning incense and listening to music while I paint. I'm in the process of making an altar in my bedroom too. I do have a small visual one in my bedroom but I'd like to make it more of a working focus in my daily rituals.

By developing a ritual, we are honouring our inner artist and helping to maintain focus on the creative being within.


How many days this week did I do my morning pages? All bar one.
Did I take myself on an artist's date this week? No. This is clearly one area throughout the course that I have sadly been lacking in. Obviously, I need to address this more fully.
Did I experience any synchronicity? I don't think so.
Were there any other issues significant to my recovery? As pointed out previously, the area that keeps resurfacing for me throughout this course has been to stop thinking about what I want to create and just DO it!

WOW! I can hardly believe next week will be the last week of The Artist's Way course! Now that I'm feeling so much better after my bout with asthma, chest infection and migraines over the past five weeks, I'm looking forward to implementing a lot of the tools I have learned through the course.

Love, light and peace


  1. i love your artist altar! the "zen of sports" section really spoke to me too. i really get stuck in thinking and never end up doing. it's such a frustrating place to be in.

  2. My husband is the little voice asking me the market value of each project;-)

  3. Oh, and the one he liked the least and didn't understand was the one that got the most praise and sold first. HA! Always listen to the artist inner voice!

  4. Yep, I definatley need to read this chapter of the book. I get too caught up in worrying if others will like my work or not. I think this is why I constantley come up against blocks. Hmmm, something to ponder.

    It's great that you are almost done with the book. It's been great following your journey. Hopefully i will complete mine one day too.

  5. Hi
    Yes! Just Do It! That is my issue as well. The 20 minute walk is good. Julia also wrote a book called Walking In This World. It includes tasks from TAW and a daily walk.

  6. hey good to hear that you are feeling better.

    my little bear is just another little one I finished yesterday....the "twin" is still sitting there....waiting..... she will be finished perhaps next week... and there is one more on the go as well...I am teaching my neighbour to do one.

  7. Congratulations on keeping on track with the course despite your illness, Serena! I love your weekly check-ins and how you break down your responses to everything.

    I'm way too cerebral, too, or dreamy, just lost in what could be, and therefore missing out on what could have been if I just would jump in and do it.

    Glad to hear you're feeling better!

  8. I am catching up--and so glad to hear you are finally feeling better--tada! That you managed to continue with The Artist's Way all the while you were sick is amazing. Love being able to see your sacred spots. Hehe--I thought of Niki--"Just Do It!" It IS a good philosophy, tho. I hope you continue to feel better and better. :):)