Artist's Way Blog
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023
|Posted by Kate Gavigan on February 28, 2023 at 7:20 PM|
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023
Leaning Into Creative Impulses
As 2023 is literally around the corner, I’ve taken to pondering again what the coming year might mean for me. Instead of having a fixed intentions/resolutions, this year, I’m pondering this phrase:
“Embracing the Silly.”
In Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way,” Julia talks about how silly can be GOOD and how some of her best Artist’s Dates have been silly. The word "silly" though has a pretty bad rap – defined as “exhibiting or indicative of a lack of common sense or sound judgment.” However the synonyms for silly include both negative and positive attributes: “Mindless, loopy, frivolous, soft in the head, dippy, dotty, laughable, and childish.” I have heard from our students that some of their creative pursuits have been given these less than positive descriptions and stopped their creations in their tracks before they were allowed to breathe ... to take flight.
But I'm fighting back and allowing for the SILLY!
What’s wrong with “mindless,” “loopy” or “frivolous” for that matter? What I hear underneath those descriptions is PLAYFUL! When I’m in my PLAY, it might appear mindless, maybe even loopy or frivolous for that matter. But what does it give me, when I give myself permission to play, to be silly? I feel lighter, am delighted, and often admire the sweet efforts. Allowing for the “silly,” I even see positive trickle down effects. When I give myself permission to mess around with something that might not have some merit, I often free myself to “mess around” with other things in my professional or personal life.
I've gotten a jumpstart getting on the silly train as my latest endeavors have been playing with making little people out of acorns after watching a youtuber do the same thing. (mine are in the photo to the right). I had a blast, glue gun in hand deciding what head attire they needed and what their names were (they spoke up and declared their French names – think Pierre, Jacques and one American outlier name: Rudy). Are they mindless? Loopy? Childish? Maybe and yet they delight me (and many others who’ve seen them). Then a few days later, I had the impulse to make a tree out of buttons and a branch (Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration!) and voila (see my button tree to the left) and even stars out of yard sticks (above!). You could probably make an argument my button tree was due to my desire for color and spring buds (and you probably would not be wrong). However, I’m giving myself permission to go with what speaks to me as silly, just because it calls to ME.
Our students have been such an inspiration to me along these lines. I hear them allowing themselves to play with any number of new adventures: Crazy quilting, studying architecture, deep dive into knitting, writing, and any other number of adventures. I hear them often say “I have NO idea where this is going to go, but I’m giving myself permission to explore it.” And I say “hear hear.” And boy, do I hear them!
Now it may be a coincidence that very soon after my silly play, I had an inspiration to create a NEW ONLINE Artist’s Way DROP-IN Monthly class for Seattle Artist’s Way Alums starting at the end of January 2023 (More on that below). Whether something tangible came out of my mindless play or not, I’m so grateful for The Artist’s Way giving me permission to be silly – to lean into my creative impulses and see where it leads me – whether it’s a smile or a new class.
What is something silly YOU could lean into in 2023?
Wishing you DELIGHTFUL creative impulses this coming year of 2023 and much much JOY.
(And hope to see some of you in our weekly Artist's Way Class for Alums OR our monthly Drop-In Artist’s Way Class on the last Thursday of the month).
Kate Gavigan, Creativity Teacher and Speaker
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