"Artists are people who have learned to live with doubt and do the work anyway. " ~ Julia Cameron, founder of The Artist's Way, a movement that has helped millions achieve their creative dreams.
Cameron herself is something of a Renaissance woman. She has published books that have become international bestsellers and are taught in universities. Her short stories and poems as well as her essays and hard-hitting political journalism have garnered much praise. And if this weren't enough, she is also a playwright, filmmaker, and composer of musicals.
At the root of all her work is the belief that creativity is an authentic spiritual path. Through her career, she has inspired readers to "simply start". Cameron says that "Most of us have no idea of our real creative height. We are much more gifted than we know. My tools help to nurture those gifts."
(WIP - pastel portrait in Strathmore Toned Tan Sketchbook)
Part of my journey of self-discovery as an artist includes reading about other artists and their creative lives.
Julia Cameron's creative path demonstrates that when a person uses her creativity in daily life, the more potential she has for personal growth and for increased productivity. Her own life is a testament to the power of creativity.
People think that artists are born with a creative gene that allows for art to appear as if by magic, but I have read that creativity must be nurtured and practised on a daily basis much like any other interest or sport. This is certainly true for anyone who wants to see an evolution in their work or capabilities.
I have been posting works in progress (WIP) more often recently. The path leading to the final product has its own twists and turns, and many opportunities for doubts to set in.
As on any journey, there are choices to be made and the artist might end up at a different destination than the one that was initially planned.
Such was the case with She walks with wolves, a recent painting that sat unfinished for months. The original intention did not much serve the final outcome; however, the struggles along the way were all teachable moments for me.
As I work on the above portrait in my sketchbook, I have an idea of the young girl I hope to paint. Still, there are still many opportunities for stumbling along the way as I apply layers of pastel and refine her features.
Will she still look like a young girl at the end? Maybe not. In fact, will I even GET to the end of it and be satisfied? Maybe not.
That is all part of the creative process... letting the doubts set in, and following the direction where the art seems to be leading me.