Help For Creating Your Art.

John Lavery painted this portrait of Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova in 1911. The painting is on display at a museum in Scotland, and this photograph rocketed all over Facebook last week. There’s no photo credit, so I’m guessing the tiny dancer is a Scottish lass. dancer girl

The image is a heartening reminder that the purpose of this blog and ultimately our lives is to create something so lovely and compelling that people dance in the face of it.

“Yes. Yes. I want to do that. But how and what?”

Author Seth Godin helps answer that in his recent book The Icarus Deception. In it, he explains our purpose in this warp-speed, post-industrial world. Are you ready?

Make art. Not merchandise. Art.

“Creating ideas that spread and connecting the disconnected are the two pillars of our new society and both of them require the posture of the artist.”

The rest of The Icarus Deception exhorts us with the how. How to deal with haters, writers block, blank pages, nakedness, resistance, fear and all the other things that prevent us from creating something raw and good, and shipping it to the world.

Godin insists artistry is not the domain of a chosen few. Think of all the art on YouTube and Kickstarter and in the app store. That was impossible a decade ago. Sure some of our art is no good, but we find that out, then go make better art. It’s a process.

But creating something authentic and beautiful is hard because nobody can tell you exactly how to do it, you have to sit, mine your  internal landscape and figure it out. It takes faith and huevos. I’m exploring that process here.

I know I’m on the right track when I feel like a pumpkin and somebody is scooping out my guts and sorting through them. Some of it is useful and can make a tasty snack and some of it isn’t, but when it’s done, I’m left feeling clean and prepared for whatever carving comes next.

So what makes your heart race and are you doing it?

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