My Artist’s Way Adventure: Week 2 - Recovering a Sense of Identity

Welcome to Week 2 of my Artist's Way Adventure

If you are unfamiliar with this new series, take a look at The Artist’s Way Adventure – Prologue and then come back here later.

The title of this week was not as interesting as Week 1 The Shadow Artist. However, I realized that the lessons being taught were critical. Even if you aren't an artist, everyone goes through the juggling act that is life. You have to juggle family, friends, work, self, fun, and other aspects of who you are. There's not enough time to do everything with everyone.

Another key element of the chapter discussed toxic relationships. These relationships could be hinder your creativity. Toxic Relationships are not limited to someone you date. They could come from friends, family, co-workers, the list goes on and on. I initially thought this was out of place in this chapter, but some people need to get rid of the weeds of their life before blossoming into flowers.

One of the other key topics this chapter discussed was skepticism. Now, that. That, really vibed well with me this week. As I mentioned during Week 1, I've been optimistic yet also skeptical of The Artist Way. So the fact that the book reiterated this point spoke to me.

Artist Way Lesson: Recovering a Sense of Identity

What is my sense of identity?

I'm a creative, optimistic, outgoing, work-a-holic artist. I honestly did not need to read this chapter to know this about myself. My head is in the clouds as I daydream and ponder about various topics. I'm constantly thinking about the silver-lining of events and have been called a social butterfly from time to time. I love people, that's why I adore working in the city.

I enjoy working. While I'll complain about having to work when I could be focusing on my own personal projects, in the end of the day, I like what I do. Even when I don't like the tasks I'm doing, I'm enjoying it. Working gives me a sense of purpose in life and forces me to get off my lazy butt and actually do something. Work is something mandatory and gives me the responsibility and motivation to complete tasks that working on my own work doesn't fulfill.

Similar to Week 1, I felt as if this chapter as a whole didn't apply to me, but the lessons were certainly useful.

Artist Way Week 2 Tasks

The tasks this week were to continue nurturing the inner artist. They also were to rediscover who you are. The first task was to read and reread the Basic Principals every single day. While I could say I did this five days out of seven, it was interesting to read the Principals over and over again. The only issue was the language used to write the Basic Principals. It sounded extremely preachy to me. I inwardly rolled my eyes at half of the principals or thought that these principals suited a fictional magic academy than an artist rehab.

Tip: Create a flap in your Morning Pages notebook. This way you don't need to find your Artist Way book and instead could read the Basic Principals while doing your Morning Pages.

The most eye-opening Artist Way assignment was Task 7, Life Pie.

At first, I had no clue what the book meant by "your life pie [looking] like a tarantula". The statement made me second guess the assignment and I had to google 'Life Pie' before doing it. After I saw one example, doing the Life Pie was a piece of pie! I split my circle into six pieces and labeled them: spirituality, exercise, work, friends, romance/adventure... I didn't name my 6th one play because I felt that went hand-in-hand with romance/adventure, so I labeled that family.

This was eye-opening because I already had an idea where I stood in those aspects of my life. However thinking and seeing are two different things and it made me reconsider ways I could be spending my time to improve different aspects of my life.

Artist Way Tasks 3 and 4 were a two for one kind of deal.

I had to list things I enjoy doing and pick two that I want to do. The issue that I encountered with this assignment was that either the stuff I listed were stuff I indulge myself to do all the time or they were things I'd like to do, but thanks to my health are risky activities that are wiser not to attempt. What I learned is that I'm happy because I do the things I like as opposed to what others reading this book may be used to. The book even claimed, "Don't be surprised if it's been years for some of your favorites".

My Artist Date

I mentioned in Week 1 that I wanted to go to a museum for my Artist Date. This week that's exactly what I did. I went as a "student" even though it had been years since I have graduated from college. Thankfully my youthful looks allowed me to have a cheaper artist date than most! The exhibit showcased in the museum was Matisse.

Since I purchased the most basic package for the date, I initially didn't get to view any of Matisse's work. Instead, I got to see works inspired by Matisse, aka fanart. I know it may sound strange, but it felt as if I was viewing fanart of Matisse. A lot of the artists were heavily inspired by this great artist. This concept is similar to how modern artists do art based off their favorite animated shows and movies. History repeats itself.

What made my Artist Date significantly more interesting was when I was given an exclusive pass to go to the actual Matisse exhibit. I believe this was synchronicity at its best.

Once inside, I was pleased to see Matisse's work and even more fanart. What made me happiest was seeing Andy Warhol's Woman in Blue. I deeply enjoy Andy Warhol's work and being able to see something a bit more graphic in an exhibit where everything was abstract was refreshing. On that note, as horrible as it may sound, I felt some anger at some of the pieces.

Why can't I be in this exhibit? 

Well during this artist date I realized, I could very well be in an exhibit one day. Even tomorrow. What I lacked was not skill, what I lack is courage. I lacked the bravery to submit my work to galleries and museums because I don't believe I'm good enough. Hopefully, after this 12-week journey, I'll be a bit braver.

Conclusion for Artist Way Week 2

Week 2 was about self-discovery. It was solidifying who I was as an artist. Who I am as a person. While there are times I feel confident in the person I am becoming, this week certainly helped with the moments of doubts of my artistic journey and growth.

Did you start your Artist Way Adventure? Have you created a life pie?  Feel free to comment or tweet your responses to Twitter, I would love to hear from you!