As promised, I am finally getting around to posting my Artistic Freedom Manifesto beginnings. During the fall, I was working with Leslie Miller as my life coach. For more about Leslie and life coaching, visit her coaching blog here. I was struggling with breaking away from some old studio habits and exploring a way to nurture a new artistic freedom for myself. We came up with several ideas to try, which were very powerful for me. In December, I was entering a wonderful new place creatively, and I wanted to continue to nurture the growth I had been experiencing, and the rekindled passion for creating. Leslie and I came up with the idea of putting together something that I could turn to when I felt that feeling flagging. I wasn't sure what it would look like at first, but let the idea germinate until I found the right format.
Several ideas came to mind, and I played with each of them in turn. At first, I thought I would create a set of tags with inspirational quotes on the back and art on the front. This was okay, but it didn't quite spark for me. Then I started reading back issues of ArtsyFartsy News by Robert Burridge. He wrote about beginning each studio visit with small practice pieces. I was intrigued by the idea, and it came back to me when I started creating the manifesto. Then I saw some cute ideas people made with playing cards at the local scrapbooking store. That is when it all came together. I would create a deck of cards with different ideas, techniques, and styles that could be used to inspire me when my muse was off drinking tea. I started by making a list of things I already enjoyed and adding things I wanted to learn more about, and good practices. The six cards at the top are the first ones on the list. From top left, clockwise, they are Create freely; Focus on images; Zentangles; Speed Collage*; Asian influence; and Cruciform layout.
*Speed collage was one of the things Leslie and I designed as a way of creating very freely, without planning, and just experiencing the joy of creating. I created ten collages in two hours. It was very freeing and I wanted to make sure it was in my manifesto.
These small pieces are created on playing cards and are wonderful fun to make. I try to make one or two every time I am in the studio. For me, this is working. When I am done, I will have a wonderful reference of all the work I really enjoy doing. It will nurture me in times of creative doubt. It is not a manifesto in the true sense of the word, but it is for me.