I thought the synchronicity of this particular email should be shared with you.......hug, hug
July 3, 2009
One of the fun things about writing these letters is learning the various methodologies artists use. It seems some of us are of the "let-it-flow" school, dreamy, laid back and even lackadaisical about our work. Others think self-management and discipline are right up there with the cardinal virtues. Further, I've always been curious about the dual nature of many artists--the combo of manager and worker under one roof.
Did you ever notice how some employees don't like their bosses? Did you ever stop to think the reason you're an artist may be because you never did like working for one? Apparently, many of us are drawn to art because we don't like being told what to do. And then again, some of us have trouble telling ourselves what to do.
Studies have shown lazy folks can become top managers. Getting others to do their dirty work in early life led them to later positions in management. On the other hand, working stiffs can grow comfortable with the worker mentality. Here are a few ideas:
Understanding and taking advantage of our lazy moments may be a significant path to creative success. Feet up in a hammock, a cool one at the side, imagination flies. This can also be a time when dates are penciled in and outrageous notes are made. Laziness breeds the plans and strategies for less lazy times.
Strategy is the heartbeat of management. As well as long and short term goals, both managers and self-managers need to project the idea of discovery. The opening up of opportunities for the worker is management's job one. It's become a motivational truism that top managers encourage innovation and creativity. When I snoop into the lives of artists I admire, I generally find people who at one time or another have taken charge of themselves and given themselves some sort of permission to act on their dreams. It comes as a shock to many to find discipline is key to creative freedom. In the words of the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, "Command like a king, work like a slave, create like a god."
PS: "Your work is to discover your work - and then with all your heart to give yourself to it." (Buddha)
Esoterica: Florida painter Eleanor Blair says, "One of the many blessings of being an artist is that you don't have to wait for someone to hire you before you can work." Fact is, self-employed persons need to learn to be their own bosses. Brian Tracy in The Power of Discipline writes, "Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them everyday, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor."