Thoughts on the Book-A Baker’s Dozen

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This is it. The final installment of my thoughts and sharing of Cat Bennett’s book, The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind. If we have followed her suggestions in whichever medium we choose, we have found that it is our True selves that stare back at us from our words on the page or screen, the image in chalk, the colorful food on the plate, the bold or soft lines in our sketch, the object in our painting or photograph. We know now where that space resides within us and we can ‘drop in’ any time we wish. There is no forcing, no judging, only playfully moving forward in our art.

There comes a time in each project that I’m involved in, whether it is a novel or another creative endeavor, that I find myself in a lull. Time gets tight or I’m itchy about sitting down and working or I’m not satisfied with what is coming out. That’s okay. I’ve written before about how to push through these temporary ‘blocks’. They are frustrating, sure, and Cat refers to them as “a moment of uncertainty or confusion . . . see what went wrong, let it go, and move on”. Perhaps the worst part of discouragement is that it leaves the door open for the critic to tell us how we’ll never have another good idea, how the galleries won’t even look our way, how quickly publishers can send a rejection notice and that we might as well give up. But it’s often at that point that it’s a day before we are inspired how to get our character out of their predicament, a phone call away from a gallery owner offering us space for our paintings, or just before a reply email invites us to attend the chef’s challenge in town. Follow Cat’s advice, and ‘let it (the frustration) go”.

I’ve witnessed it in a yoga studio. Practicing on my own at home, is fine. I can move through the poses, work on ones that I struggle with, treat myself to my favorite postures. How I practice is up to me, but in a class, the energy is different. Most always I find the very air charged with feel good feelings. I find myself moving into the postures perhaps a bit differently. The same could be said for the writers group on Tuesday afternoons. Even though I write outside of the group, there are some who only write in the group. It’s the collective creative energy that inspires them to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. Artists are everywhere, and often we recognize each other, whether by the tools we carry or even the way we carry ourselves. Every creative soul we meet on the journey has importance. Perhaps we are able to step into the shoes of the teacher, or don the hat of the student. Maybe it’s just a camaraderie on the shared path that we travel.

Cat Bennett ends her book the only way she can, with a call to action. There are countless cities and communities that have been transformed by art. A mural on a once-graffitied wall, an organic restaurant where before there were only fast food joints, and a studio owner brave enough to move into a building because they believe that the citizens need to witness the beauty that has been created, perhaps encouraging those who have never tried, to begin to understand what is inside themselves. And so each of us moves forward. If we publish a book or hang photographs in a gallery or serve up haute cuisine at a price that many can afford, and even if we keep our sketches hidden under our bed, just for us to look at in amazement that something so wonderful could from us, that is healing and giving. For if we create only for ourselves and carry that joy forward into the world, are we not offering our Truth? Share your creations or give of your individuality knowing you’re pleasing your soul. Either way, the world wins.

Please leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for how people can share what they’ve created, or if you have an opinion on what Cat or I have written. Want to know more about me? Visit my website: www.myjoyenterprises.com    May you always joyfully follow your Muse!