06 March 2017

[art] A Motivational Self-Study Short Course: "Do More With Your Art" By Peter Rossing

In the previous missive I shared some of my thoughts and feelings about the permanent closing of Muse Art and Design, the Hawthorne area art supply store that has delightfully taken some of our disposable income over the past twelve years.

I may have gotten a little lachyrmose about it, but it was that good. 

I'd like to share a little something with the world. Peter Rossing, the owner, had as one of his missions to give little talks, a way of fulfilling the store's mission of equipping, informing and inspiring, All artists, may we be working or aspiring, need two essential things to get going: inspiration and motivation. My problem, for an embarassingly-long time, was that I would confuse and conflate the two, eventually thinking that inspiration is all I need to create.

That's bull. I live in Portland, Oregon, perhaps one of the most inspirational places known to artistic people. Also, there are no shortage of publications exhorting my attention: look at this! Truly, this is inspiring! What can you create, now that you've seen this?

Well, I can create whatever I want. But knowing I can create and getting moving on creating, why, those are, after all, two different things. I must have nearly 1,000 pounds of books about insipiring me to create art. Very few on getting the motor actually running.

What I'm going to share with you now is the notes from a talk Peter and Muse gave on the 23rd of February, 2015, two years ago. The title is Do More With Your Art in 2015, and it's a short course on separating inspiration and motivation and how to nurture motivation in a world that's all about inspiration. I love this document, and as I continue the pitched battle to create habits that are about self-indulgently creating good (or any) art rather than just self-indulgence, this is a touchstone that I return to time and again. It contains a couple of self-guided exercises and a handful of good suggestions, a list of references for further exploration, and a chart of checkboxes that represent two years of days (every time you do something creative, put an x in the box and you'll have a trajectory). It's not hard! All you have to do is bring yourself, your brain, a few minutes of your time (it's only 11 pages) and a bit of honesty.

One major reason I made sure to stop by Muse is to visit Peter one last time and thank him. Another important one? To get his permssion to share this file. Muse Art and Design may no longer be with us, but with this, we can make sure its spirit of Equip, Inform, Inspire remain as though it still were.

Inspire yourself to motivation with this document, a PDF, which is on my Google Drive, here:


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