This week take amother sneak peek In the studio with Michael Hayes. I met Michael Contemporary Charleston Painter at one of our local galleries, Fabulon. Prior to that Michael and I had met at other Charleston art events and our local Artist And Craftsman. Michael recently invited me to interview him in his home (converted garage) studio. *These photos are not styled so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
About a year ago I added questions to the artist interview series about rituals in art making. Is it more common for artists and creative types to create rituals around routine creative practices? I’ve found that almost every artist I have interviewed or worked with has some sort of ritual(s) they consciously or unconsciously repeat.
Within the word spiRITUAL something is revealed about it’s meaning! My first life coach, Lisa Geddings, use to say “We are all spiritual beings trying to have a human existence.”
Though I consider art making a spiritual practice, for the purpose of this post and discussion I am not really talking about rituals as a “religious” practice. I’m looking more at how we define ritual as a part of our creative process.
Why does this matter? What is it about ritual that is important to art making?
Art making is critical to our world! Having just spent a day at a local art festival, filled with art of many categories, mediums and art made by people of all ages, colors and religions, I came away feeling grateful for what others are willing to share of themselves. I did not like all of the art, I found some of it badly executed, hard to understand or just not personally aesthetically appealing. But none of that matters to me. What is essential to me is that as creative and spiritual beings we give ourselves permission to express our spirit through our creative process! It does not matter what I think of someone else’s work. I am grateful that they are practicing their creative and spiritual expression!
What does any of this have to do with organizing? Cleansing your environment is a ritual means of also cleansing your mind –Dalai Lama
I look at the process of organizing very much like the process of making art. Maybe other organizers approach it this way or maybe not. I am an artist so who can say?!
Regardless, the process of creating anything of beauty is one that will most likely involve some preconceived planning, either on paper or in our mind’s eye.
We begin with an idea, a feeling about what we want something to look or feel like and we break the process down into steps to help us achieve this creation. Along the way, we can be easily distracted or discouraged.
This is when rituals can be of great benefit. At certain moments along the path, we must take a rest, look at what we are creating from a different perspective, perhaps ask for feedback from others or from our spirit guides. Maybe we have a practice of turning to nature to clear our thoughts, listening to music or cleaning up our mess along the way. These are the patters of ritual that sprinkle our creative process with our individual essence, spirit or soul. With that thought I will leave you with one last quote that sum’s up our process of creating-our artwork and our rituals.
“Any ritual is an opportunity for transformation.” Starhawk
If our art making is ritual, than isn’t that the most precious opportunity for transformation?
This week take a sneak peek In the studio with Michael Hayes. I met Michael Contemporary Charleston Painter at one of our local galleries, Fabulon. Prior to that Michael and I had met at other Charleston art events and our local Artist And Craftsman. Michael recently invited me to interview him in his home (converted garage) studio. *These photos are not styled so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
In the studio with Michael Hayes-Part I
We all have more ideas, hobbies, dreams and wishes than we may realistically ever be able to achieve. Though if your like me your trying to cram in as much as you can! In the past week I’ve taken some time off of work to do something I always love to do at this time of year, garden and garden related volunteering (I’m a Master Gardener!).
I value the freedom and flexibility of owning my own business so that I can shift gears when I need to and escape to pursue a passion or hobby that may not be related to Organizing or even my Art! But we creative’s can be very tempted by bright shiny objects, new ideas, new materials, the latest gadgets and tools…and they don’t necessarily help us execute our creative ideas in a more fulfilling way.
Sometimes, more is just a big distraction and excuse to not get to work on our own making and art.
I am totally guilty of this as my brand new sewing machine sits in my studio barely used and a warp is on my loom, only barely begun with a new weaving project. There are also times when stepping away from what we work on daily to “Take a Beauty Break” (as my friend Lisa would say), is a great way to reset the soul and give us clarity and focus again!
I’m not suggesting that we should not ‘invest’ in new tools and materials when we need them but as any gardener, quilter or knitter knows, sometimes you have to use up the stash before buying more!
Casting our ideas and creative focus in too many directions can leave us scattered.
Having too many creative pursuits, ideas and materials around us can be a distraction. A tip I often suggest is to pack up one or more different materials (supplies) and put them away for awhile (a few months or longer). Allow yourself to focus on one or two burning creative ideas! If your a writer, you can collect thoughts for future writings into a “NEXT” folder (the suggestion of a great PR person I recently met). If you find that you are not called back to these supplies, then donate them, sell them or give them to a friend. They may be just the inspiration someone else needs to set their ideas on fire!
By setting some of our ideas and creative pursuits aside, we make space to focus on what we really want to be creating. We distill our creative energy to be more potent and concentrated. Have you ever had to say no to some of your creative ideas for awhile in order to focus on your current creative direction?
In this week’s sneak peek we return Inside Sam Hunters Studio, of Hunter’s Design Studio. I met Sam at Quilt Market and interviewed her in her old studio in 2013. When we last spoke she promised to invite us back after her move and I’m so excited she did! Sam has set up a practical and organized studio and here she shares her tips and suggestions. Also check out her old space here and compare the systems she kept and changed in her new space.
*These photos are not styled so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.