“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
– Mario Andretti
In the second part of this video interview with Oliviero Olivieri he talks about how he works through times of creative block, along with some of his favourite photographers of the past and the immense courage and commitment they demonstrated in pursuit of their art. This courage and commitment showed up in the effort it took for them to understand and use their equipment, learn the art of developing their images in the darkroom, produce unique images with very little outside influence, carry hundreds of pounds of gear to remote places that were incredibly challenging to reach and much more. He said that because of their immense commitment – the result could only be good, they couldn’t fail. That’s a very powerful statement that bears repeating…because of their immense commitment the result could only be good, they couldn’t fail. Thinking about that makes me ask a series of questions that I encourage you to consider as well including:
- What is my current level of commitment to my creative practice? (You might think of hours spent, resources allotted, designated space, education or professional development, working with mentors, affiliations or networking, etc.)
- Will this level of commitment lead to the results I am seeking? (What are you hoping to accomplish / achieve / or experience?)
- How do I demonstrate my commitment? (refer to question 1)
- What gets in the way or distracts me from my creative practice? (Consider other commitments, obligations, distractions, excuses, etc.)
- What changes could I make to prioritize my creative practice? (This is a great opportunity to get creative!)
In February of 2015 I wrote a blog post entitled Interested or Committed? If you haven’t read it, you might want to check it out here. In that article I discussed painter Brice Marden and the commitment he expressed about his desire to learn to paint. It wasn’t skill that led to his ultimate success, it was his decision to become an artist and his commitment to paint, on the good days and the bad days, a commitment to keep showing up and trying, working in his studio consistently over a period of years. For artists, designers and creators in all realms our success usually reflects our level of commitment. In fact the success we achieve in most aspects of our life including our health and fitness, relationships, finances and more relate to the commitment we show them, the priority we give them in our lives. So as creative people with aspirations for our creativity I think these are important ideas to consider.
I’d like to hear your thoughts about this and how you are demonstrating your commitment to your creativity. This is where we can support and inspire others to take positive action as well, by sharing what’s working in our own lives and studios.
“What is passion? It is surely the becoming of a person.”
– John Boorman
Just before you check out the video below, I wanted to sign off by letting you know that I am heading into an intensive summer of creating and teaching and that I am looking forward to meeting several of you in classes and workshops that are scheduled in the next couple of months. First of all, I will be teaching a calligraphy inspired workshop in Lexington, Kentucky followed by an encaustic program in North Carolina. I am very excited to visit the studios of Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch and Donna Downey and travel to a couple of new destinations. When I return to Vancouver I will be teaching two other encaustic classes both at the introductory and advanced levels.
To wrap up the summer months I will be teaching a couple of programs that still have a few spaces available. The first class is called Creating Stunning Artist Books that I will be teaching along with master bookbinder Kayla Preston. This is a new program for me and I am super excited about it. I love books and paper, and the ability to make several types of books by hand is a thrilling opportunity. The final program is a Portfolio Intensive program that focuses on each participant creating a personal series of unified work. I think that this course embodies the most important teaching that I do with artists around helping them to grow and develop their work. You can find more information about either of these programs on the workshop page.
Finally, I will be heading to Italy in late September and early October to teach an encaustic and photography program with Oliviero Olivieri in Tuscany with Creative Excursions. We still have a couple of spots open in Week 2 if you are looking for a transformational travel experience that will enhance your creativity. This could be an opportunity for you to learn something new or deepen your existing practice.
In my July post I will also have a link to lots of exciting news about upcoming programs, workshops and travel opportunities in 2017 and beyond. Just to give you an idea…there will be news of some Advanced Encaustic classes in Australia, an amazing masterclass in Calligraphy and Encaustics with internationally renowned calligrapher Massimo Polello and me, along with some creative process programs in Sardinia, Italy! Stay tuned for lots more details.
In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the informative and entertaining video with Oliviero below, and that you will continue to build your creative commitment in the weeks and months ahead.
Happy creating, Nancy