“Artists must be poor and sacrifice their well-being for their art.”
“Artists are ‘bad’ at marketing.”
“Artists should accept the solitary life and find solutions on their own.”
“You can’t be a mother and a successful artist.”
Those are some of the distorted perceptions about artists that I list in my post Artists are Crazy; Mothers Can’t Be Artists, and Other Myths.
These kinds of ideas and myths have also been discussed by Julia Cameron (“The Artist’s Way”) and Alyson B. Stanfield – an art business consultant who “helps artists, galleries, and organizations gain more recognition, organize their businesses, and sell more art.”
Visit her site for the book, plus workshops, programs and free resources: ArtBizCoach.
[The photo is Ewan McGregor in “Moulin Rouge” as Christian, at his typewriter – an impoverished poet drawn to the Bohemian life of Montmartre – from my article Creativity and Commerce.]
f we hold certain kinds of beliefs about who we are and what abilities we have – whether we are even capable of being creative, for example – we can seriously limit what we do or even attempt.
In his article Capturing creativity, Psychology Today Editor Robert Epstein declared, “An explosion of creative forces is at hand, and it could make the accomplishments of the Renaissance look like a ride on a stationary bicycle.”
But, he continued, “If creativity is so accessible, what’s holding back the flood? When I say to a group of a hundred people, ‘Please raise your hand if you consider yourself to be creative,’ why do only 10 hands go up?
“Why are corporate leaders, government officials, politicians, crime fighters, teachers, and parents all starving for new ideas?
“Why are art, music, and literature in the hands of a tiny fraction of the population–while the rest of us are mere spectators?”
He thinks there are two potential reasons: schooling and myths
“First, our creative potential is virtually shut down by early schooling.
“Teachers are the first to admit this. A kindergarten teacher told me recently, ‘I can’t believe I get paid to have so much fun every day–before the kids get mined.’
“Ruined? ‘Well,’ he said, ‘in the first grade the kids have to work all the time. There’s no more time for fun, because there’s so much they’ve got to learn. They’re not even allowed to daydream any more. It’s a wonder that any of them ever grow up to be artists or inventors. In kindergarten, on the other hand, all the kids are artists and inventors.'”
Epstein continues, “There’s another reason why creativity seems to be in short supply: Myths about creativity are deeply entrenched in our culture. Myths have enormous power to shape everyday behavior, often to people’s detriment.
“When it comes to creativity, myths keep most people firmly shorebound. Only artists have creativity and creativity is rare, we’re told. Creativity is mysterious and magical and divine, people say. It’s in your right brain, the headlines swear.”
But, he concludes, “None of these beliefs is true, not even slightly.”
From article Capturing creativity, by Robert Epstein.
Also see article: Robert Epstein on the teen brain.
[Image: Ballard Street cartoon by Jerry Van Amerongen, from creators.com.]
Pursuing a creative career in ‘bad times’
In such “challenging” economic times as now, many people may hold another belief: that being creative as a profession is frivolous or a bad choice.
Social and economic theorist Richard Florida does not agree.
The author of The Rise of the Creative Class is a professor at the University of Toronto, and a magazine article notes “his books explain how artists, musicians, designers, writers or any individuals with jobs where creativity plays a key factor, have superseded the working class as the predominant force in both American and global economies.
“Florida reminds us that, in troubled times, nurturing basic human needs may keep us happy, healthy, and ahead of the curve in life as well as the workplace.
“How is the creative class doing during our current recession? As a whole it is doing just fine. The rate of unemployment in the creative class is something like five percent. Compared to the working class, where the rate of unemployment is 15 percent and for some subgroups over 20 percent.”
[From Richard Florida – the discovery of the creative class, by Daniel Denhardt, SOMA somamagazine.com, Oct. 2009]
In her book Now What?: 90 Days to a New Life Direction, Laura Berman Fortgang writes about the insidious nature of our beliefs.
“I often joke that cotton is not the fabric of your life – your beliefs are! They are woven so tightly into the fabric of your being that they have become truth.”
She explains, “They were probably adhered to you by someone else. Parents, teacher, guidance counselors, bosses, the media, and our own assumptions based on what we heard from these people help to form our expectations for ourselves and our lives.”
And, she warns, these “early messages, experiences, and beliefs that form our opinions and affect decisions that linger in our life later on, despite being outdated and out of alignment with the person we have become.”
Or, I would add, the person we want to be.
Living in the present
In his post You Are a Failure – A Letter To You, Steven Aitchison reminds us to pay attention to our present reality: “Give yourself a break from analyzing the past, stop living there. Come back to the present and show everybody who you are today, not who you were yesterday. You are so much more than what happened to you. The very fact that you are with us today and reading this, whether you feel angry or not, makes your life a success.”
So, can we change our beliefs?
In The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns provides strategies to help overcome self-defeating attitudes, based on cognitive therapy research and practice – a technology for uncovering and revising distorted and self-limiting ideas.
A profile by the Institute of Noetic Sciences notes that Morty Lefkoe “made a series of discoveries that allowed him to help people make permanent changes in their emotions and behavior” using his program The Lefkoe Belief Process, acclaimed by Jack Canfield among others.
To try out The Lefkoe Method, go to ReCreate Your Life where you can eliminate one limiting belief free.
Also see these articles by Morty Lefkoe:
How To Create New Possibilities In Your Life
Everyone Knows You Can’t Eliminate Beliefs Permanently… Are You Sure?
Also see related articles on awareness and beliefs.
Article publié pour la première fois le 15/01/2014