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Getting In Touch With Your Artistic Dreams: Step 1

Updated: May 31, 2018

Dreams, pencil and gold leaf, 2015

I recently resigned from my job, where I taught art and brought in a consistent paycheck, a welcome gift for an artist type. I learned a ton, grew in a wide variety of ways, met all kinds of wonderful people from around the world, and feel fortunate to have spent a blink of time in their lives. My gratitude is immense for the depth reached in some of these encounters. It really was a privilege. Many who choose a creative path, already know, instability at times, can be the name of the game so having a more conventional job is usually necessary. So, without that now, I am working hard on my future plans.

During the last year of work I became a part of a co-lecture about creativity, titled "Break Through to a Creative Life". Meanwhile, for several years, though still teaching art and fulfilling art and design commissions, I'd been in the midst of a creative crisis of sorts. I was losing my way and even touch with my dreams.

I lectured about the obstacles and paths to creativity, knowing all the while I was facing several of them. I suppose that does make me some kind of an expert, especially in regards to the obstacles that stand in the way of true creativity and fulfilling one's dreams. I'm one of those types who could be labeled a "space cadet", far off dreaming wildly about art and creativity and what it could be, but back in real life, those dreams fade off into the distance. And when life leads in unexpected directions it's easy to forget what those dreams actually are. The last year was full of some challenges and obstacles. And now, I feel like I’m waving my hands around trying to clear the smoke, and from the scattered haze, I’m asking myself to remember my dreams. I can see I am not on the same path I was before, those dreams are no longer ahead from where I stand. I'm reminded of a phrase I was told when feeling lost, “you can’t go backwards, you must find your way forward”. There is a grieving process in looking back, in what you thought would be, and that's o.k.. It will likely not be exactly what you dreamt of, from that other place in time, and it probably would have turned out different than you imagined even if you were on the same exact path. Your task is to dream big from where you are now, and all the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Of course I am talking to myself, but maybe you need to hear this too. Who knows if this new dream will be better or worse, it will certainly be different, and the first step to living a creative life is embracing that uncertainty.

So join me. If you are feeling lost or uncertain, perhaps you've lost sight of your dreams a bit too. Lets discover or rediscover them together, lets forge ahead. Let’s find our courage. Don’t give up on that ever-hopeful inner child who dreamt so big and believed so strongly… until one day…. you stopped listening. If you feel like me, you know that inner child is stronger than you ever could have imagined, and continually whispers, or even yells from deep within to get your big adult butt in gear. Lets break through to our creative lives together.

Here’s our first lesson, have the courage to allow yourself to dream again.

“Bran thought about it. 'Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?'

'That is the only time a man can be brave,' his father told him.”

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Take some time to brainstorm. Imagine several possibilities. Imagine when you wake up tomorrow and beyond, you are who you dream of being, you are doing what you dream of doing and surrounded by who and what you’ve always wanted.

1.) What does this wonderful day look like?

2.) Where are you waking up? Describe your home, your yard, furry companions, etc.

3.) You step outside for a morning walk, where are you? What do you see, hear, smell?

4.) How do you fill the day? What are the creative activities you see yourself doing and loving? Are you home doing this or some where else? How do these activities make you feel? Try to not only think of the final products you want to make, but the actions you do day in and day out that give you the feelings you want to feel every day.