"Creativity is my neighbor; I live by it." - Edreys Wajed, Creative Mornings 2016.
My friend and fellow artist Edreys had his first solo art exhibition at the Western New York Book Arts Center recently (still up till March 10th). At the opening reception, I was reminded of the "sacred circle of influence" that affects all creatives. Visual artists listen to (or make) music. Sculptors have a favorite literary podcast. Authors and poets attend a painting show. We are all influencing each other constantly, and the inspiration goes in a circle.
Artists Struggle to Make Art.
I'm so grateful for Sugar City's annual "Fun-a-Day" challenge in February. You'd think for for someone who loves making art, I'd be constantly inspired, and just painting or drawing all the time. The truth is, doing anything you love takes dedication and work- even if it's just getting the energy and focus together for a quick sketch. That's the hidden challenge of creativity- you have to "live by it" as Edreys said. Fun-a-Day has given me and a number of other fellow artists in Buffalo the push we need to keep consistent.
Distraction is the Enemy.
I was on a trip to Quito and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador last week, and while it was absolutely fantastic, it was tough at times to bring it back to my creative practice. Thankfully my travelling companion was a musician who also was working on something each day. We motivated one another, and it was really helpful.
Staying on Task.
Now that I'm home, I have to keep up the pace, amidst the hustle of normal life. It is both a pleasure and a task to make art every day, but I can see the steady increase in comfort level and skill as I work diligently. A creative practice works best when you do it like Jerry Seinfeld when he was starting out: like any other person who goes to work, you have to get to the page.
The work won't make itself!