The Artist Within – A Guide


How does the word “artist” make you feel?
January 29, 2010, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts, Daily Entries | Tags: , , ,

I am in Michigan to present my “Artist Within the Wine” Tasting tonight at Fernwood Botanical Gardens and my Artist Within Workshop tomorrow.  As I was making the drive up north yesterday, I pondered my audience for the wine tasting and how I could really get them inspired!

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I have never shied away from attaching my business/mission to terms that may confuse or challenge others because the exact reason it does so is the exact reason it needs to be presented that way.  For example, The Creative Fitness Center used to get a lot of calls asking if we offered yoga classes.  I knew the name would confuse people, but I felt a stronger loyalty to my mission of creating the awareness of our need to WORK OUT or develop our right brain/creative muscle. I envisioned Katie Couric’s interview and her asking me, “Whitney, how does it make you feel that today most corporate businesses have a ‘creative fitness’ program for their employees and many Americans are conscious of how often they have ‘worked out’ their right brain?!” I believe that when that vision comes to fruition that our entire socio-economic status and personal/spiritual well-being will all have evolved to a higher, more holistic, compassionate and susatainable level.

So yesterday, as I looked out the window of my car to the snow glazed corn fields of Indiana,  I pictured my Friday night wine tasting audience and thought, “the word artist is going to instantly have some of them thinking, ‘well, this is not me.'” So, why is embracing your OWN artist within so valuable?

When we think, “I am not artistic,” or “I am no artist,” we are looking at it through the lens of our ego, our left brain. For us Americans, our first association with the term “artist” is a person that is so highly skilled at their craft that they are able to sell their work in galleries and the such. THOSE are professional visual artists, and they have my utmost respect, but for the rest of us our own Artist Within manifests itself in our everyday lives as we interact with others, solve problems, nurture our families, maintain and grow our businesses–we are CONSTANTLY creating.

The ARTIST mentality, combined with the left brain/logical mentality, will lead to scenarios within business, government, education and social sectors that takes ALL sides into perspective, that can make short-term sacrifice for long-term gains, that can innovate change (whether in healthcare, energy production, education, science, health, etc.) and produce results that defy “logic” and what is “feasible”. The “NEW” Economy is just that.  We have a lot of innovating/creating to do.

When you shift your thinking from the left brain/ego centered perspective to the right brain/holistic perspective, the term “artist” takes on an entirely new meaning. Take personal gain and individual performance out of the picture entirely and let the word ‘artist’ conjure images of an almost magical being who can defy the odds, create results never before imagined, and delight us with visions of a brighter future.

My Mother took this pic in her woods.

SO, WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY…to engage your Artist Within, simply look at the light as it shines on the trees, or the colors in the sky.  Ask your team at work to suspend logic for 10 minutes and imagine/brainstorm as many ideas as possible without considering probabilities, budgets, or logic.  Look through a magazine and pick out the images that speak to you, to which you are attracted.  Tear them out and put them in a journal or envelope to use in a “dream collage” or “vision board”.

One of my own Dream Collages

Tonight, I will be taking approximately 30 people through a wine tasting that illustrates the connection between the creative process of wine making, the creative process of painting, and the creative process in general! So fun!  I was interested to see that Michael Gelb has a book called Wine Drinking for Inspired Thinking. THAT is the subject of another blog entry!

So, my point today?  Let me know what the word “artist” does to you.  Can you make the shift from the left to right brain version? Let me know. Check out the Creativity Workouts section of this blog and get more ideas about how to engage YOUR Artist Within.

Creative wishes, Whitney

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

When someone asks, “Are you an artist?”

I always reply, “Aren’t we all?”

Enjoy your workshop and I am definitely ordering the Gelb book –

Comment by lisadaria

I’ve always prescribed to the notion that anyone who creates art is an artist. The definition of art is obviously subjective in this case. I consider myself to be an artist; I doodle, sketch, paint, photograph just about anything. Creating art immortalizes the things and people that inspire us. I consider my 2year old daughter to be an artist; she draws on the walls (which I cannot bring myself to wipe off), paints, makes messes on the table and then draws in them with her finger, sings, dances, the list goes on and on. The truth is that if a thought, scene, picture, person, etc. inspires you enough to share it with others through something you create, then you are an artist! My husband, daughter, and I walked along the fencerow at the back of our property this morning…brrrr! The way the clear ice surrounded the berries on the vine made them look like tiny little jewels and I had to take a picture. It does our souls and minds so much good to take notice of these small pleasures everyday–I think it’s in this noticing that our thinking really starts to shift from one side of brain to the other. Whitney, thanks for the thought provoking question today! Keep on following your passion and leading others to find theirs.

Comment by Kristen

I like the wine tasting connection! The word artist empowers me to be creative in all aspects of my life. It also reminds me to take control of my choices in life like a painter takes control of their canvas. My personal philosophy: Think it. Create it. Live it.

Comment by Kaye Pryor

Well… that’s very interessting but honestly i have a hard time figuring it… wonder what others have to say..

Comment by Frokostordning




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