Putting the “Try” Back in Artistry

Article by Whitney Tai

There’s certainly no shortage of music companies, promoters, blogs and organizations helping creatives keep their spirits high since the Pandemic has ensued.

Many artists are struggling day-to-day figuring out where their next paycheck will come from, how to drive value without tours and public events or if they’ll be safe going out to shop simple items such as groceries. What weighs even heavier on the minds of our 2020 creators is the potential fear of losing loved ones, friends or general coping as by-standers watching countless lives fight this hand of invisible evil. It might be too soon to fathom what these catastrophic numbers really mean in the course of our history or what a worldwide pandemic does psychologically to the human body. What I will say, is that I commend the artists of today using this time to channel their fears and pains into something beautiful. I’ve heard many heartfelt songs, read very prismatic poetry and witnessed powerful illustrations emerge from the darkness. But I want to make a point to today’s artists that it’s also OK if they don’t create. It’s OK for artists to just work on themselves and look inward to see cues that elevate mental health or just general wellness. At the end of the day, coping is individualized and you are no less of an artist or brilliance in the world if you feel frozen or unable to produce content. Trauma is happening among us and the pressures of using the time to match your contemporaries may make you feel deflated. As an artist myself, I hope this piece can be helpful in stimulating growth for anyone who is frozen, hurting or in need of just a general push to “try.” So remember, just go easy on yourself and be gentle! Allow your creativity to return and flow at a pace that feels natural to you with these 4 mantras

Let’s put the “Try” Back in Artistry

    1. Pull Down Your Blinders
      The globe has come to a halt, your normal schedule stops, you’re struggling to see how anything makes sense when your entire world looks very different than it did just a few months ago. It’s easy to get into a toxic or repetitive cycle or a wheel that doesn’t allow for change. With the flow of negative newsfeeds, brash tweets and vapid carelessness spewing like a volcano from various forums, it’s hard not to feel like mankind is disappearing into a bottomless sinkhole. Change can taunt aggressively at our fears, but change can also be an opportunity to pull back our proverbial blinders to stop and see what’s most important in the current view. The NOW. Since we are in a “new” now, that means a new state of operation and a perfect time to take a deep breath for a whole new canvas. It’s really so that the quicksands can’t slowly creep up to keep us from thriving, healing or getting in touch with what we are feeling. With that in mind, we can be honest with our artist selves about how to move forward with all the pressures of a global crisis.
    2. Dig Into Your Treasure Chest
      Many of us have been working in a particular field for quite a long time and funnel down into very repetitive daily routines. However, most of us would be surprised if we knew just how many learned skills and talents we have accumulated over our lifetimes that lay deep down in our treasure chest. Now is a perfect time to dig in, make lists of everything we rock at and maybe even plant some new treasures we’ve always wanted without the excuse of drama, work or bad habits getting in the way. This could be a perfect time to see the sparkle in that treasure and how it has shaped us into the creatives we have become. Sometimes the answers to growth aren’t locked in a chest at all, but just positioned slightly out of the light, where what we needed was always right in front of us to shine bright like a diamond.
    3. Analyze Your Skill Set
      You are restless to create more but you feel stressed, soggy and fed up with feeling incompatible with the world around you. Maybe you want to say or do something new. Artists speak in many capacities but what matters is that they do so thoughtfully and with authenticity. You have a treasure trove of skills and ideas that have inherent value even in a changing marketplace. Take a look at your skills and see how you can apply them in a new way as things change around you. Don’t feel that your skills lose value or decrease in meaning just because you can’t see the bigger picture. Taking risks and harnessing your inner Peter Parker is a surefire way to fight through adversity when the odds seem insurmountable.
    4. Stimulate Your Third Eye
      Our minds and bodies have a wealth that cannot be measured in currency. The true currency of our creativity is that there is no limit to its power. Find a place that is healing for you, go there in your mind and activate the kind of paradise that becomes your current viewfinder. The eyes are not our sole compass. Our creative energy moves intelligently just as light does and when you can envision your creativity like an aurora across the Alaskan skyline, then the actions that soon follow become a star shower of its image. In the words of the wise Lao Tzu, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” In other words, manifest your best self into your new now.
Article by Whitney Tai
cover image: Anna Azarov
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