Deep self-examination is the first step in defining our big project.
Lets start with first considering the conscious/unconscious cultural beliefs we hold about creativity, the art making process, and the artist herself - which are not true and do not serve a thriving artist mindset.
Some examples are:
It is important to keep an awareness of these notions so that we can replace them with a new set of accurate beliefs that support the creative process and provide a foundation for our growth and success.
Some examples of a thriving artist mindset include:
With our new thriving artist mindset in place, we can conduct a deep self-examination by brainstorming through a process called mind mapping. Mind maps are a great way to get clear about yourself, providing self-reflection and ultimately help us define a project idea that is important to you. Knowing yourself will make your work personal and distinctive. This mind map exercise will help you find your “voice.”
To create your mind map you will need:
This is a rapid process without any editing. The more immediate the better.Let’s Begin:
Start by writing your name in the center of the page. Next, write associated words to branch off from your name. Include topics such as, “Things I like”, “Background”, “Ideas”, “Strengths”, “Weaknesses”, “Inspirations”, etc.. Continue to branch off from each of those words with any associations that come to mind and continue this process as far as you can. I ran out of room on my drawing page as you can see below, so this is where I stopped.
Here is an example of my Mind Map.
Once you have finished your mind map set it aside for awhile and come back to it later. When you come back to it, take a significant amount of time to analyze it. Make additional connections or add notes. Draw new connecting lines to reveal new associations. Take notice of patterns, repetitions, connections, and cycles that may be present. You can repeat the mind map process based on sub-nodes to explore further.
After completing this process, create a text outline from your mind map. This will help you analyze and clearly see he hierarchy of your map. It is also a legible way to share your thoughts and ideas with others.
Here is an example of my Mind Map Text Outline.
You should now be able to identify topics, interests, and ideas that are meaningful to you.
I would like to point out that one of the topics that came out of my Mind Map under “My Challenges” was “Fears” such as “I’m too old”, I’m not good enough,” etc... The list goes on and on.I just want to remind everyone that fear is a common and normal response to the unknown and we all have fears.
David Bayles and Ted Orland, working artists and co-authors of the book, “Art and Fear” comment on fear and making art.
“ Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be.”
They continue to explain that...
“art is a high calling - fears are coincidental, sneaky and disruptive, ...disguising themselves laziness, resistance to deadlines, irritation with materials and surroundings, distractions over the achievements of others.”
Each step in the creative process puts those fears to the test.
Always challenge your fears.
Next week, we will learn about:
This blog will serve as a place to create my case study. I invite you to follow along with me as I journey through this process.
Thank you for reading and for your interest.
Julie A. Davis Veach
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