Keeping Your Art Honest

We read fairy tales because they sweep us off our feet. They take us on a journey and we join in whole heartedly experiencing every twist and turn the main character takes till he/she lives happily ever after. The authors of these stories create a fantasy, but are the stories honest? Are they representations of the life they are living or creating a life they would like to live?

Art as a healing modality can benefit from brutal honesty and a bit of fantasy. The brutal honest means that your art is true, a representation of the life you’re living. It doesn’t matter if it’s “pretty” as long as it’s real. George Orwell shared, “Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.” Our art is our autobiography, are you willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly?

I’ve been studying the art of autobiography for some time now and I’m continually amazed at the revelations shared by people. There is an energy of renewal when you read, view, hear someone’s story and experience how these people overcame life’s interruptions. When you’re honest in your art you give yourself the gift of freedom. There is no shame, no hiding, and no judgment. Your story can’t be denied!

Art allows you to expose yourself without getting arrested. You can show your true self and that allows others to follow your journey. We are all artists because we’re all storytellers. Our lives are meant to be shared; how we share it is up to us. We create because we’re all strands in life’s tapestry. It’s imperative to tell your story honestly because without your strand in the tapestry the world would be incomplete.

Keeping your art honest creates a natural flow. When you’re creating art as a reflection of your life story there is an ease since you don’t have to make it up. I think George Orwell is right; making art that is honest/trusted means showing not only the persona of who we think others want us to be, but who we really are walking in this world!

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Creating with Conviction

Art is a personal expression of our thoughts, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. It gives us a voice that is clear and pointed in this noisy and often blurry world. We create in order to give ourselves an escape hatch from spending too much time ruminating about things in our heads. It gets our ideas out to the world giving us a platform to live our lives.

One of the things I’m exploring and would like to take a journey with you is the idea of creating with conviction. When we create some do so to make pretty things. There are other artists who use their art for political activism and still others who combine autobiography, beauty, and exploration. There are many who use their art as a spiritual practice delving to the depths of the soul through creativity.

Are we creating art with hesitancy either figuratively or literally? Are we editing ourselves before we even get the work out in the world? Are we fearful of our message or story that holds us back from fully expressing ourselves with conviction? I know this is a series of startling questions, but I do believe that conviction is a like a muscle; it gets stronger with use. I know personally that I have had many doubts when creating and instead of going through the fire I switch projects because it seems safe. I guess my next self-exploration is to flush out whether or not it’s really safe or a false sense of security.

I don’t know that I ever equated bravery with being an artist, but I am considering this as one of the components to art and healing. When we bring our true stories to life we stand taller. We are seen in the world and that means we knowingly are societal influencers. Our choice of creating with conviction deepens our spiritual practice. It announces to the world that we have set our priorities and our priorities include ultimate self-expression through art.

How does creating with conviction show up in your life?

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