In his course Your Best Life in the Arts, creativity coach Eric Maisel, PhD provides “real answers to the challenges that confront you” as a creative person.
Below are excerpts from summaries of the second seven topics of the online course.
For each topic, I have added some related comments and related material such as articles.
But first, read Eric Maisel on Your Life in the Arts – Part 1 (with a video interview with Dr. Maisel) – if you haven’t already.
Week 8. The Empathy Key
Some necessary traits of the creative personality include self-direction, self-trust, healthy narcissism, and other qualities that can incline a person toward self-centeredness and a lack of empathy. Learn why empathy is also a quality to be cultivated—for the sake of your art, your humanity, and marketplace success.
A related article: Are Those Your Feelings? By Jenna Avery, CLC, Life Coach for Sensitive Souls. She writes, ‘Several empathic and sensitive readers have shared that they struggle with knowing when they’re experiencing their own feelings versus feelings they have “picked up” from someone else.’
Photo: Scarlett Johansson has commented, “I think I was born with a great awareness of my surroundings and an awareness of other people…Sometimes that awareness is good, and sometimes I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.”
From my post Actors and the High Sensitivity Personality.
Week 9. The Identity Key
It is much harder to fashion a life in the arts if you do not strongly identify as an artist. At the same time a vast array of sub-identities are available to you—you may see yourself as a beautifier, activist, bohemian, problem-solver, shaman, and so on.
A creative person is not simply someone who makes something that will be put on display in an art gallery. And identity is not a fixed “trait” that endures unchanged through our life.
As Guillaume Wolf asks in his article Creative Identity and the Ugly Duckling, “Is our identity the result of past events? Or is it something that’s being recreated everyday through our actions? In other words: are you the result of the past – or are you creating yourself in the present? These are profound questions.”
Week 10. The Addiction Key
Creative people squarely fall into the category of people at high risk for addiction, whether it’s a classic addiction to alcohol or drugs or one of the new distraction addictions involving email and the Internet. Learn why you are at greater risk than the next person—and what you can do to minimize those risks…
Photo: Beethoven reportedly drank wine about as often as he wrote music, and was an alcoholic or at least a problem-drinker.
Many gifted and creative people throughout history have used or abused substances, or engaged in self-limiting behavior. Here are a couple of many articles on the topic:
The Distraction Addictions by Eric Maisel, PhD.
Week 11. The Obsession Key
Get a clear picture of the difference between unproductive obsessions to be avoided and productive obsessions that fuel the creative process. Obsession is one of the least understood and yet most important aspects of both the creative process and success in the arts.
This is a very helpful re-framing of one of those terms – obsession – that is usually used by mental health professionals as a label for pathological behavior. It may be a mental health problem for some people, but the healthier varieties of obsession can also fuel creative expression.
“The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one’s obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.” John Updike, about J. D. Salinger.
That is a quote from my article Creative Obsession.
Week 12. The Relationship Key
As independently and autonomously as artists might want to live, they must nevertheless pay attention to relationships. Intimacy is a key to emotional health and a career in the arts requires cultivating working relationships with industry professionals…
Although it can be a very individual endeavor, and nurtured in solitude, creative expression can also depend on relationships and be enhanced through personal interactions.
Anne Paris, a clinical psychologist who has helped many artists, emphasizes the importance of connections with others for the creative process. She says, “We all need relationships with others to be at our best. When we are surrounded with support, we are more productive, happy, and energetic. Positive relationships help to move us forward and help us to grow.”
From my article The Value Of Relationships For Being Creative.
Week 13. The Societal Key
Artists are an integral part of their society—as witnesses, cultural observers, entrepreneurs, and sometimes as heroes and celebrities. Their relationship to their society is almost always complex. Learn how to implement strategies that can help you relate to society on your terms.
Relating is also on a more intimate, personal level, and creative people are often unusually sensitive to their own inner lives, and to the moods and behaviors of other people.
This is one of the main topics of my Highly Sensitive site, and here is one related post: Being Sensitive and Creative.
Week 14. Your Artist Plan
Learn how to create daily, three-month and long-term plans that keep you focused on your tasks as an artist. Without solid plans in place you can lose months and years that might have been devoted to building a satisfying life in the arts. Know what you’re going to do when the challenges we’ve been discussing arise—planning is the key!
Here are a couple of articles on being a creative entrepreneur:
“Without Eric Maisel’s guidance I would never have successfully negotiated the publishing process. With his help, I completed a substantial proposal, landed a good agent, and just signed my first book contract!” ?
— Nancy Pine, author and educator
“It’s been an unexpected joy to find someone as creatively supportive and encouraging as Eric. I didn’t know what to expect out of our sessions and each one is fresh and interesting. Eric’s inspirational!”
— Christine Collister, international recording artist
“Eric’s insights have helped me with every aspect of my painting career, from the evolution of my market vision to strategies for self-promotion. I also found his help invaluable in feeding my creator’s soul!”
— Jonathan Herbert, painter and photographer
Learn more and purchase the course at Your Best Life in the Arts.
Books by Eric Maisel, PhD:
Article publié pour la première fois le 01/08/2013