Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Artists - focus on what you want!


I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about manifestation and the “Law of Attraction” (from Wikipedia - used widely by New Thought writers, refers to the idea that thoughts influence chance. The Law of Attraction argues that thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) can affect things outside the head, not just through motivation, but by other means. The Law of Attraction says that which is like unto itself is drawn).

While I still am considering the pros and cons of the information, I did run across a phrase the other day that rang true to me. Focus on what you want, and not on what you don’t want.

I started thinking about this phrase in connection to making art, and I realized that, for the most part, I, like every other artist that I have ever known or am aware of, follows this law during the creation process whether they are aware of it or not, and, whether they want to or not.

While there may be some who disagree with me, I don’t think it’s possible to make art while not, at least for a large percentage of the process, be thinking about what you want in connection to the work. Whether it is a nanosecond before the brush touches the canvas, the pen meets the paper, the foot finds the mark, the bow crosses the strings, or the chisel hits the slab or a month – part of the creation process is seeing in your mind what you are creating. An artist knows what he or she wants to create. I believe this is true even in the micro moments of creation that formulate improvisation whether it be in music, stand up comedy, theatre, painting (think Jackson Pollack), writing, or any artistic outlet. 


There are times when all artists will find themselves wonderfully caught “in the flow” when creating their work. It’s happened to myself and my contemporaries on countless occasions. It’s an incredible sensation of surrendering completely to the creative process in which it seems your body becomes more of a tool within that process and less of a separate and individual being. These are the moments that often standout in the psyche of the artist of times of great achievement.

But, when this sensation is pondered, where is the center of this flow? Where is the source of the artistic well spring? I believe it is from the psyche of the artist, deep within the creative resource of our minds. If this is true, then it must be that the desire to create the work is present first inevitably leading to that same desire being manifested into art, regardless of the process. I can’t think of any artist that creates work without thinking about the work they are creating. Mind you, these are often deep, multilayered, thoughts awash in artistic sensibilities, but, they are thoughts about creating/manifesting nevertheless. I can’t imagine that while Michelangelo was working on his masterpiece the
Pietà that he was adrift in thoughts about his dinner plans or what his weekend held in store. But, more importantly, he couldn’t have been thinking about not creating his work. It isn’t possible, in my opinion.

What’s my point here? Simply, if at some point you feel disillusioned with your art or uninspired, start thinking about what you want to see in your work and stop thinking about what you don’t want to see! You’ve already been doing that all along every time you have created work that left you feeling accomplished. You wouldn’t have been able to do so otherwise.

Thusly, if all of us artists out there have been using this “Manifestation/Law Of Attraction” process all along for eons, and we know, at least in that aspect, that it works as we all have the work to prove it, why couldn’t it work in the other aspects of our lives?

Now, go make some art!

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