Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Sanctuary within

1. Robert Henri proposes that there is a time when the things around an artist, like light and surroundings, align with the heart and mind of an artist so that a piece of art can be created.

2. A cup that is full overflows when you pour water into it.

There is a space within us, a sanctuary, from which our creativity springs. This space is within the heart, not the mind. When the space is infused with love, and the surroundings align, we are able to create art. It takes a meditative effort to reach the sanctuary within. Problem solving, outside stress, can drain us and make it difficult to reach our creative sanctuary. In this sanctuary, art making is not a logical process but an organic and spontaneous one.

Sometimes we are in the midst of a fantstic artistic opportunity, but we are in our problem solving mode, or distracted by some mundane issue and we miss an opportunity. Sometimes we are in an artistic sanctuary, but it is midnight or some other inconvinient time and you have not the opportunity to create. When the time comes you are no longer in your sanctuary.

We need to be in that artistic sanctuary to create art. We need to be there as much as possible so that artistic opportunities are not wasted.

Commercial work is good for the bank book, but do not confuse commercial work for art. Keep your commercial work tidy, so that you are not overwhelmed by work and too drained to reach santuary.

The people around are important. That is why photographers have assistants, so that the assistants can solve as much technical problems as possible. The photographer can then have the energy to create. Find good problem solvers and make them part of your team. If someone gives you more problems, that is not good.

Be technically proficient, always check out your equipment and understand it so that it becomes second nature to you. It can be very frustrating when you have no idea whether you are going to be able to create something or your tools are going to let you down.

You have to make and nuture your own sanctuary. You need supportive people around you and a method for finding sanctuary. Don't take it for granted unless you are a creative genius like Mozart.

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