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?