29th Jun 2010Posted in: Blog 1
An Artist’s Job
This speech by Elizabeth Gilbert is wonderful. It's funny, informative, moving and disarming. I hope you'll check out, and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

I visited Elizabeth Gilbert’s website today (Eat, Pray, Love),  and came across this 20 minute speech. It moved me so much, that I had to share it with you.

Over the years I’ve taken a good look at personal and artistic inflation and deflation, those unhealthy extremes that we, as humans, can get to. Most commonly, in myself, I’ve seen this when I start to believe that somehow I am my work, instead of simply being the vehicle for my work. Or perhaps when I believe that my worth is determined by the quality of my work. That’s a terrifying thought. Not only is it utterly unhealthy, it puts so much pressure on me, as the artist, that I can no longer produce art, because I’m coming from a place of fear. So with this belief system, that seems to run rampant in our culture, any journey through success and the time, after automatically leads us through this cycle if self inflation and deflation. So how do we get out of it? How do we change our relationship to our art into something positive and sustainable, and moreover, a process that is good for us?

Elizabeth Gilbert posses the question: What if art doesn’t come from us, but through us? It’s a fascinating perspective, and one that I’ve actually shared for some time. But the artists ego may struggle with it at first. If I am not the source of the beauty in my art, I am not wholly responsible for my failures, but I am also not whole responsible for my successes. Now that’s interesting. If this is true, what are we responsible for as artists? Doesn’t that take it out of our hands? I say no. We are responsible for maintaining ourselves as the perfect vehicles for the art and beauty of the world to move through us, so that when it comes, it is fully expressed and brought into this world. The more primed, complete and agile the vehicle is, the more exquisite the art will be that is revealed through it. Perhaps that is our only job: to be as ready as possible when that art decides it is time to move through us. We create the petrie dish, and the art comes. As you can see, this is a subject that gets my juices flowing!

This speech by Elizabeth Gilbert is wonderful. It’s funny, informative, moving and disarming. I hope you’ll check out, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

With love,

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