Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Studio Skies & Rachmaninov's Mantra

I recently was asked by my mother-in-law how I can keep on being inspired when I'm always creating. I answered that as an artist, it's my job to be creative and to continually channel what I see around me into my creative energy. Easier said than done sometimes. Deadlines, limitations in space, not getting into a show you've applied for, not winning that award you thought was within reach, not getting that sale you thought you had can all infringe on one's creative energy as an artist.
The other day on CBC radio 2, I heard a great story about Rachmaninov (a famous Russian Composer) who had written a concerto that was a total flop according to the critics. He had such trouble getting back on his feet that he spiraled into a deep depression and couldn't write another concerto that not only had been paid for already, but that he had a deadline to meet- writer's block at it's worst. His family sent him to some sort of hypnotist to get out of it- essentially he had to repeat to himself this mantra: 'Today I am writing a concerto. It will be a good concerto." And amazingly, it worked. His next concerto was a huge hit and he was back on his feet again.
So I've been thinking about this a lot. The idea of the source of creative energy and when that well seems to run dry and how to switch gears to move into a new direction creatively. I'm thinking about my own mantra that I want to infuse my work with: I will paint a painting today. It will be a good painting- or pottery or whatever it may be. Maybe it will work wonders- at least it's worth a shot!
By the way- the photograph was taken just outside my studio door a couple of weeks ago. Inspiration at my doorstep!

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