The Artist & Creativity

There are many talented people but not many people who take themselves seriously as artists, including writers.

Whether you paint, play or write music, write poetry or prose, make sculptures or take photographs, certain universal truths apply. One truth is that art cannot emerge if the artist does not go into the studio. Delaying the moment of beginning by sweeping the floor, pruning the bushes, shopping for groceries, making a bank deposit, cleaning the broom closet, changing the sheets, and so on is a common trait in artists. By sheer will power and discipline, the true artist begins to work not knowing exactly what they are going to create, except that the painter will use paint, the photographer a camera, etc. Fear of failing, resistance to the unknown, feeling inadequate, feeling like an impostor, are all feelings that keep talented people from beginning.

A true artist does not seek praise; rather they learn to believe in themselves even if they believe that, at the end of the day, a dumpster will inherit their work (yes, everyone seeks a little compliment here and there, but that is not what I am talking about). Actively seeking praise or believing one’s press kills creation, true creation, just as not going into the studio prevents it from beginning at all.

Making art is a way to transform both positive and negative feelings. Through coaching and support, anyone who has the desire to make art can learn to stop avoiding beginning, learn to take himself or herself seriously, to tolerate painful, negative feelings such as fear of failing. Artists can develop the courage to resist the impulse to work for the sake of praise. Working for praise diverts the artist from getting past the ego to a deeper, subconscious state where creativity resides. It is not true that artists have to be addicts, alcoholics, drug addicts, miserable wretches who cannot sustain relationships

I have been writing and publishing poetry for thirty years. I have three limited edition books in print, SHE SAID I TELL YOU IT DOESN’T HURT ME, TERRITORY,and CROSSINGS,in collaboration with Manuel Neri, sculptor, whom I began working with, initially as his primary model, thirty-three years ago and whom I continue to work with today. I also have a chapbook called SOURCE VEIN by Spire Press which can be purchased from their website. Before I became a psychotherapist, I taught Creative Writing at San Francisco State. I understand the creative process from my own experience, from many years of observing Neri work, and from seventeen years of working with artists as a psychotherapist. I will coach and support you as you overcome obstacles to your creativity and find your way to fulfillment of your unique voice as an artist.

Contact me to discuss your options today!