Art Lab is about creativity, feelings, and the process of making art.
If you want to do creative work but struggle to actually do so consistently, or if chall... Ver más
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Finding Your Way Creatively: 4 Crucial Skills
Because creative work doesn't have a one-size-fits-most approach, let’s explore four skills that will help you find and follow your own path. While most jobs and hobbies have a clear sense of structure and predictable outcomes, creative work is essentially a series of decisions that lead to endless outcomes. That thought alone is enough to stop some artists in their tracks, but there are a few practical ways to navigate those fork-in-the-road moments with more ease and confidence. 1. Neutral Observation Similar to the cognitive defusion technique that we discussed in episode 2, it can be helpful to observe your choices and their outcomes from a birds-eye view. This practice gives you space to examine and catalog your internalized beliefs and blindspots. Once you become aware of the thoughts that hold you back, it’s much easier to address them head-on. 2. CuriosityTuning into your curiosity compass is a great way to gain clarity around your decisions. Even if it doesn’t seem to immediately connect to your creative work, what are things in your daily life that inspire you or invite you down the rabbit hole? Make a list of those things and try to find the common thread. 3. Humility Humility isn’t about downplaying your talent, but rather having an openness to making mistakes and creating things that might seem ‘basic’ or below your skill level. It’s amazing what can happen when you don’t take yourself so seriously and approach things with a more playful mindset. 4. Experimentation Behind every successful piece of art is a trail of crumpled drafts – there’s just no way around it. I recommend using the Process Enjoyment Tests (PETs) we discussed in episode 3 to find where you’re getting stuck in the cycle of reflection and action. Use that as a clue for where you should get started. Resources mentioned: Episode 2: Feeling Guilty For Making Art? Try These 3 Things Episode 3: How To Find A Creative Process That You Love The Happiness Trap by Russ HarrisBig Magic by Elizabeth GilbertListen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.Get in TouchSign up for the newsletter: kendyllhillegas.com/newsletter-sign-upWatch video episodes: youtube.com/kendyllhillegasFind me on Instagram: @kendyllhillegas
Perfectionism with Kevin Menasco, Clinical CBT Practitioner
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) practitioner Kevin Menasco joins me on this episode to unpack the root causes of perfectionism and how to break through the barriers that get in the way of a creative practice. Perfectionism is something that most, if not all, creative people deal with, and it’s something that Kevin sees in a lot of his clients. In our conversation, he describes how people typically cope with it and why even if it’s not at a clinical level, it can still cause problems in pursing creativity. On a foundational level, Kevin suggests that we tap into the emotional or physical sensations that come up when we’re attached to certain outcomes. Maybe you want to create a museum-worthy painting or a bestselling novel, and the gap between where you are now and that end goal gives you a knot in your stomach or causes your mind to spiral. That’s usually enough of a signal to your brain that you’re outside of your comfort zone and should stop. So, how do you push past that? Kevin shares tangible ways to give yourself a container for your creative practice that sets up opportunities for small wins. You’re more likely to return to something that feels good, and consistency is a key part of overcoming perfectionism. We also discuss tools for people at the opposite end of the spectrum who don’t have trouble getting started, but never feel like their work is truly finished or ready to be shared with the world.Resources mentioned:Work with Kevin: whitemountainocd.com The Happiness Trap by Russ HarrisInternational OCD Foundation Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.Get in TouchSign up for the newsletter: kendyllhillegas.com/newsletter-sign-upWatch video episodes: youtube.com/kendyllhillegasFind me on Instagram: @kendyllhillegas
Why Every Creative Practice Needs a Destination
Creativity is a special form of communication, and when it’s shared, magical things can happen. But, what if you don’t have a clear endpoint in mind? This episode is for all the creative folks who struggle with what to do with their work once they finish it. This is especially common amongst recent art school grads who’ve come to rely on the structure of that environment. I also know creatives who have a growing collection of partially completed artwork, and others who get stuck when breaking into a particular field. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, you need to have a destination for your creative work. Having an end goal signals to your brain when it’s time to move on to the next thing. Plus, having a clear marker for when a piece of work is done allows you to engage even more deeply in the process and take the stance of a neutral observer. Sharing your work online is one of the most accessible ways to get your art out into the world. If you’re anything like me and enjoy the idea of a cozy bubble of anonymity, I have some ideas for how to post your work on social media without attaching it to your name. Having a group of creative friends, or even just one person in your life who gets what you’re going through, can be super helpful when it comes to sharing your work. Besides getting feedback from them, they can also be great for gifting and knowing that it’s going to someone who will receive it lovingly. Finally, if you want to pursue your art commercially, coming up with an imagined client or use case is one of the best ways to set a target. It provides clear guidelines for purpose, audience, and scope of work. Resources Mentioned: Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted OrlandFakeClients: fakeclients.com Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.Get in TouchSign up for the newsletter: kendyllhillegas.com/newsletter-sign-upWatch video episodes: youtube.com/kendyllhillegasFind me on Instagram: @kendyllhillegas
Feeling Uninspired? 4 Ways to Diagnose the Problem and Re-fuel Your Creative Energy
One of the most common experiences in any creative practice is the dreaded inspiration dry spell. Join me on this week’s episode of Art Lab to explore the concrete practices you can experiment with to rediscover your creative flow again. In this episode, we’ll dig into how you can get curious and figure out what’s actually causing problems with your creative inspiration. We’ll look at four basic “diagnoses” that can halt creative momentum, and unpack some symptoms to look for in each of them, so that you can pivot faster and find what works for you. Relying on ideas If you feel like you’re only able to work when the idea is *just* right, it puts a limit on when and how you can engage in the creative process. By trimming the idea down to the essentials and setting aside concept-heavy work for a while, you can pull inspiration from areas that don’t require a knock-out idea to get started.Getting stuck in ‘Ugly Valley’ The common advice for getting through the messy middle is to simply get to the other side, but that’s definitely easier said than done. Instead, we’ll try to narrow the focus, look at creativity through an objective lens, and learn to rely on an internal compass to guide the creative process. Needing a break Give yourself permission to have blocks of non-productive time. When you have space to follow other curiosities and interests, you enrich yourself in new ways that often show up in your creative practice when you’re feeling ready to go back to it. The idea itself is ‘bad’Even though it’s not as common of a diagnosis as the previous three, the reality is that there are times you might be stuck on the wrong idea. Here we’ll learn to recognize the symptoms of this de-inspiration challenge, so that you can recognize it and treat it accordingly.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.Get in TouchSign up for the newsletter: kendyllhillegas.com/newsletter-sign-upWatch video episodes: youtube.com/kendyllhillegasFind me on Instagram: @kendyllhillegas
Creativity & Failure: Rewriting the Stories We Tell Ourselves with Grace Miceli
Dealing with criticism, disappointment, and failure is never fun, but it’s especially tricky when it comes to creative work. This week, I’m joined by illustrator Grace Miceli (aka @artbabygirl) to discuss tools and practices for working through those feelings and developing a resilient mindset. In addition to her work as an illustrator, Grace is currently in graduate school to become a Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Creative Arts Therapist, so I knew she would be the perfect person to talk to about the intersection of art and emotion. In our conversation, she describes her decade-long journey with learning how to bounce back from failure and reframe those experiences as opportunities for learning and growth. Grace recommends thought work exercises for detaching from outcomes and breaking the habit of comparison. We also talk about the impact that art communities have had on our ability to handle failure and rejection, and Grace has helpful advice for anyone who has trouble finding their people. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.Connect with Grace: Follow Grace on Instagram: @artbabygirlLearn more on Grace’s website: gracemiceli.comCheck out Grace’s book, How to DealCheck out Grace’s Skillshare class Resources referenced:When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön Radical Acceptance, Radical Compassion by Tara BrachGet in TouchSign up for the newsletter: kendyllhillegas.com/newsletter-sign-upWatch video episodes: youtube.com/kendyllhillegasFind me on Instagram: @kendyllhillegas
Art Lab is about creativity, feelings, and the process of making art.
If you want to do creative work but struggle to actually do so consistently, or if challenging feelings sometimes stop you from making the kind of work you want to make, Art Lab is for you!
We'll get into everything from perfectionism, to fear of failure, to concrete tools for dealing with an intrusive inner critic – in short, anywhere that emotions and creativity overlap.
Art Lab is for beginners who can't figure out how to get started, for serial-incompletists who have started and stopped many times before, and for established creatives who want to keep growing in their artistic practice, even when it takes them to emotionally challenging places.