We have surely all experienced lulls in motivation. If you’re an artist, maybe you’ve had spans of time where you just couldn’t bring yourself to get into the studio. I’ve been hearing the question a lot lately in creative circles, “how to you stay motivated to make art?”
It was Chuck Close that said “inspiration is for amateurs.” And lots of professional artists I’ve heard answer this question reply with what amounts to the same thing. The art is the motivation. Art gives them life. It drives them. Sometimes, art keeps us going when all else fails.
Imagine me circa 2005, sitting hunched over a desktop computer eating cocoa puffs out of the box and working endlessly to craft the perfect layouts for Xanga. Do you remember Xanga? That post-LiveJournal, pre-MySpace era website where you could make your own custom blog to house all of your angsty rants and even set music to them?
When you bring that shame into the light, you relinquish its power. By speaking its name we find out that the things we’re ashamed of aren’t worth worrying about. Then we can kindly invite shame to snuggle up in that hole it dug so we can bury it ourselves.
Like most people, money is really difficult for me to talk about. It carries a lot of baggage, including connotations of power, imbalance, wealth and impermanence, and I suspect that it is deeply connected to our fundamental, primal need for belonging, our fear of death and abandonment, and naturally, of course, security.