|Sidewalk art in Ajijic, MX|
All of us are standing in front of a fire hydrant that gushes information, distractions and choices at us with a force that is simply overwhelming.
How do we create anything … art, music, writing, work, healthy children, a life ... when we might create something even better if we had that last piece of information, that last opinion, that last bit of inspiration?
Sebastian Michaels in his 21 Days to Creative Abundance program, states flatly we have to find ways to take breaks from the flood of distractions if we want to find our Muse, create our art. He offers this quote from Leo Babauta, author Zen Habits
"If you can't do and read and respond to everything (and you can't), you must chose what you'll do and read and respond to, and let the rest go. Let the rest go. This is unbelievably important. You have to accept this and be OK with it."
With Sebastian's and Babauta's thoughts in mind, I took my journal and went to the coffee shop in the Plaza where I indulged in a chai frappachino and the flow of my own thoughts. I mindmapped an article about disentangling love and fear, continued to look for found objects for the next Photoshop Artistry challenge, and eavesdropped on the conversation of an artist visiting, apparently from New York.
In less than an hour, I was refreshed, recharged and had pages of notes for more writing and art. I don’t think I would have been as productive as I was had I stayed glued to my computer focusing on the projects at hand. I know that some of the thoughts that came needed the space and openness of sitting with my journal in front of me and not being distracted by email/facebook/the refrigerator. I may make a noon break a regular habit. It tends to be a time when my energy needs a boost anyway.
The found art challenge was an interesting one: take a walk and take four photos of things you find that could make an interesting abstract. Add two textures, two edges and at least 8 adjustment layers.
Among the images I found is the one above, an example of the sidewalk art I find in so many places here. I’ve gotten accustomed to wall art, but the sidewalk art is new to me. So I chose this image to be the base of the challenge.
After a lot of work, I came up with the image below, probably because I love Dorie from “Finding Nemo,” and the way I feel right now about continuing to move forward without Missy. I put the finishing touches on the piece and decided it was time for bed.
|Just Keep Swimming|
But, sleep didn’t come. Those straight lines haunted me. I hate straight lines. But how to get rid of them? Maybe the whole piece was a bad idea? Maybe a different base image? This was supposed to be an abstract and it didn’t feel very abstract. It felt like a cartoon.
Finally, I got up and decided to try a technique for changing the straight lines. If that didn’t work, I was going to toss the whole idea and start over. Two hours later, this was the next version.
|Just Keep Swimming #2|
It won't make my gallery of favorites, but I definitely like it better and REALLY like the fact that I managed to get to a better place using techniques that I’m learning.
More about the quote:
From Wikipedia: Zen Habits is a blog written by Leo Babauta about implementing zen habits in daily life. It offers suggestions for how to live, and also includes frequent references to how Leo Babauta has implemented these habits. He covers topics such as simplifying, living frugally, parenting, happiness, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, eating healthily and successfully implementing good habits.