Pearls from artists* # 58September 18, 2013
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
I remember as a teenager having a group of friends at school and another group whom I spent the weekends with. I functioned fine until on occasions when I was with friends from both groups at the same time. Then it became really difficult, because I was used to acting very differently with the two groups. With one I was the leader, very vocal and outspoken about my opinions. With the other group I wanted desperately to belong and so I adapted to fit in, which meant not really being myself.
The lack of authenticity is painful. It applies to all levels of life. If our voice as a painter is inauthentic, we’re in trouble. In the end there is nothing so compelling as to be yourself. This is why being an artist can be so exhilarating. If you want to uncover your truth, you have a daily technique to come to terms with your limitations and to overcome them. You have an opportunity to look at the limiting stories you have written in your head and heart and rewrite them with boldness and vision. The quality of your attention influences how you see things.
What you put your attention on grows stronger in your life. Life, if you look around you, whether inside or in nature, is one bubbling mass of creativity. Recognize we have no shortage of it. If you focus your attention on what you now decide is fundamental , that quality will grow in your life. Not what our parents or teachers or friends or media or anybody says or said. What we now put our attention on will grow in our life. If you want to paint and put your focus there you will unleash a torrent of energy and enthusiasm.
Ian Roberts in Creative Authenticity: 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision
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