Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Holding on to the Energy

As many of you have experienced, when you are in the workshop environment you are surrounded by a bubble of creative energy. You know exactly what you want to do and have no external influences to distract you. Plus you have an instructor to facilitate and guide you through your project. Returning home you are filled with all this energy and then the real world hits you in the face like a wet wash rag. You get distracted by the phone, daily necessities and life in general so the creative energy starts to leak out. This is a common, shared experience but it need not happen.

While I returned home faced with all the necessities of getting ready for Quilt Market and Festival, I still have access to all the energy from the retreat. Granted I am not working on a new quilt, painting, or series of photographs, I am doing all the graphic design work for the new dvd, the dvd magazine and brochures. These are still projects that require the creative skills of design and composition along with creative writing. Also, I know that studio work is on the horizon and that the focus required for that is available to me when the time comes.

How am I managing to not let the creative energy from the workshop slowly leak out? By maintaining a simple practice Eric guided us through in Taos......and I am going to share that secret with you. I highly recommend this simple but powerful book filled with all the tools you need to keep your life as an artist accessible every day and at any time. Also if you visit Eric's site (see previous post), you can visit the Ten Zen Seconds website and sign-up for the newsletter associated with the book.

Don't be concerned about the word Zen; instead be excited about the way in which Eric combines Eastern and Western processes. There are no exotic positions or life-long dedications to hours of learning how to clear your mind and rid yourself of your ego. The book is exactly what it purports to be...."10 Seconds."

These simple practices are keeping me riding the crest of the wave of energy from the workshop. They are guiding me through the transition in my work free from all the angst I had previously posted. Simply put this will help you stop the world and get into the zone where ideas and work flow free from distractions both internal and external.

Even better the practices can be done anywhere at any time............probably not while driving your car but possibly if you can focus without closing your eyes. If this post is beginning to sound like a commercial, please don't consider that. My excitement and endorsement of this book is because I have found a practice that really works....and not just for me but for artist of all disciplines.

The practices are something we all probably know already and have experienced when we get to the work and get so lost in it we lose track of time.....but that means we have to be in that space. We wait for the muse to call, for the closet in the back room to be organized or my favorite avoidance techniques, cleaning the pantry or spice cabinet. While I am disciplined about my work when all is right with the world, I am easily distracted when the smallest event occurs. This small book has re-affirmed my commitment and given me back the awareness that I can do everything I want to do.

After the longest post on record, I leave you to get back to's to exploring, experimenting and creating more art.
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1 comment:

Debra said...

Hey, thanks for this link. I'm looking for all the creative energy tips I can find, and I recognized so well that "workshop energy" and the loss of focus I get when I return home.