Friday, February 27, 2009

Secret #8 - empowering alliances

Wow - how can it be Friday already?
The next chapter in my 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Bookgroup is how to select empowering partnerships and alliances.
Collaboration is an interesting way to get energized as an artist, and my last two entries were posts showing work done by an amazing artist with whom I share two journals that travel across the country.
Alliances are often this - a singular project that inspires and moves me forward - I do lots of mail art and artist trading cards, and this builds that sense of community and connection that being alone in the studio doesn't always provide.
I also read and read and read some more - creative authors and story tellers help me feel that I am on the right path - diarists and novelists have so much to say about the creative process.
Of course, like lots of us, I spend time (too much) on line looking at other people's work. This can be a bit sabotaging, also, and can make me feel like I am not original or creative enough. But a bit of on-line connection (like this book group!) is really uplifting and encouraging.

and in my friends, I am very choosy, and can only spend time with those who get me. If someone has no clue what I am about, I find it too tiring to train them. Quirky people seem to need quirky friends, so this tends to be my tribe.

One big key I wish I had known way earlier in my life -- when someone is supportive and positive about your work - HOLD ON TO THEM. I can't recall all the relationships I have let go due to me moving, or starting a new phase, of people who did really care. I wish I had them all in a circle so I could thank them.

An artist partnership is a very creativity building thing, and those of us to have them are lucky! I once had an awesome group with 3 other women and we painted together on large canvases - we ended up having a show in NY (see it here) an d that was a wonderful thing. We ended up growing apart and going our own ways artistically, but I will always be uplifted by the memory of the energy and connection we had while working together.

"No my friends, darkness is not everywhere – for here and there I find a few faces illuminated from within. Paper lanterns swaying among the dark trees." --Carole Ann Borges


  1. So often one hears the advice to know when to let go - and I suppose that is sage, sometimes, but your 'hold on to them' rings soooooo much truer to me. Sometimes I think we become like someone in a lifeboat dinghy just out for a little individual float and with our eyes on the horizon we don't realize how far we've floated from shore/the mother ship without any effort but the effort to get back to safety/harbor is HUMONGOUSLY OVERWHELMING. I know I've done that moving over a thousand miles from 'home', literally and figuratively. There are many who I used to be able to count on for an encouraging word, a well timed coffee break, an eager 'show me what you're working on now' that elevates my enthusiasm. So - I find great worth in your post today and thank you for its reminder to value and nurture those who do know/understand/encourage us.

  2. Dear Artyem,
    Could you possibly post some of your paintings? I was attracted by all the bold colors, yet I would like to see more details. How wonderful to have a show in a gallery! I am a writer so no galleries for me anytime soon. I still love all of your art journal pages!

  3. OH! I love the journal page and the quotation. Its image is so evocative. It's great to be able to find like-minded and congregate. That's how magic is born.

    I didn't notice you as being quirky. Possibly because I'm probably quirky too. That's a label given by others, and I don't notice labels. :)

  4. Your sort of collaboration sounds very inspirational and creative.

    And I love those pages!

  5. I am so glad that you said to hold on-because I really get tired of hearing let them go. Also your journal pages are just beautiful.

  6. You are so right about holding on to a good thing. Good advice and beautiful pages.

  7. Yes, I think as creative types we are often extra sensitive and sponge like, so it is VITAL that we are picky about the energy with which we surround ourselves. It is a lesson that I struggle with daily, as I tend to take on too many people who need help and who suck my energy reserves while giving nothing back!

  8. I love that bit of advice about how important it is to hold onto and treasure those people who are capable of truly supporting us. They are like gold and can really keep our creative wells full.

    Thanks for that wise reminder!

  9. What a fabulous post! I too wish I had held on at times to those who 'got me'. And the quote at the end is priceless!

  10. Your post jogged my memory -- people from my past who were so supportive and encouraging who I somehow drifted away from. How I would love to have them in my life now! Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for their places in my life, and the reminder to hold on to the people who currently hold those positions!