from my notebooks, entry 6

if i am not happy with my photos, instead of worrying too much about the photos, i try and focus on the center. when i went to art school they said not to take the critiques by professors and peers personally, as the critique is about the work, not about you.  i didn't agree with that. i was not happy with the work i was making, so i knew i had to go on a personal journey to find a deeper perspective and the skills and scales to express what i discovered. for me that included how i ate, who i spoke to, how i engaged with research, how physical i was, what i was listening to, how i approached my dreams, what art i was looking at....deepening as an artist, for me, was and is, an entire life philosophy and a practice. as much as i make art, i make a life curriculum that supports making art.  if you are engaged in an art practice, or are wanting to explore one, are there a few things you can include in your day that develop your skills of observation? do you keep a notebook where you can write down ideas for projects and develop those ideas? can you study other artist's lifestyles to see things they include in their day, which indirectly or directly influenced the way they approached their main medium? can you see that each thing you do in a day can be done artfully, and in service of your chosen pursuit or practice? if you are looking for a new altitude or depth in your work, perhaps pull back for a minute, and instead of hunting it in the result, court it behind the scenes, develop it in your daily activities. look to find the center (or if you prefer, a chosen periphery) that you want to create from, and then figure out what you need to include in your life to maintain that frequency, that alignment, that way of being and seeing that is absolutely unique to you. these are just ideas i share as people have asked me how i developed my eye, how i stay disciplined and dedicated, how i have nudged further into the realm of artistry, creativity, and dreaming with my eyes open. step by step, it is a choice of lucid attention, of making time for what you love, of not getting involved in too many distractions...the modern world seems to be a specialist in providing so many variations on that theme. on that note - back to work!