The Importance of Joy – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 44
August 24, 2022
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
After taking a break from your art, do you ever wonder why you are so fired up to get back at it? I always notice this, and it has fascinated me for years. We’re not doing art while we’re away, so what’s happening there? Join me for a quick chat about the importance of joy in our art practice, how to access it, and how it optimizes your art and life.
Listen if you are interested in…
- Using joy to spark creativity [1:39]
- The accessibility and challenges of experiencing joy [5:43]
- Why you can’t afford a lack of joy in your art journey (and your life) [10:27]
- Finding the things that make you feel alive [13:34]
Put down the to-do list
Seriously, why do we feel so energized about making our art when we come back to it after taking a break? When we take breaks or go on vacation, we tend to do things that we don’t normally do. We fill our free time with all the things we enjoy that we don’t normally have time to do in our everyday lives. This is where that extra creative juice comes from! Bringing joy into your life is a powerful workaround for sparking creativity. Joy is often at the bottom of our to-do list when planning our day. It’s all the little “important” things that take up our time and distract us from feeding our souls. When we eventually get to the bottom of the list, the things that bring us joy are easily skippable because they are not “required”. But what if I told you they were? What if the solution to the creative burnout you’re experiencing is to put down the to-do list, figure out what lights you up inside, and then just do it?
Joy is a conduit for creativity
The reason joy is a conduit for creativity is that even the tiniest amount has big repercussions on your state of mind. I believe creativity comes from the state of being joyful. Think about it: Whenever you do something that brings you joy, whatever that is, it fills you with an energy that begs you to let it out. Experiencing joy compels us to do something with it. When we feel good, we want to scream it from the rooftops! That feeling…that JOY, is an invitation to access our creativity. And as artists, that creativity often comes out in the form of making things. For those who make things and sell them, there is no better viral marketing strategy than joy. Enthusiasm is infectious, and people flock to it from miles away. But it can’t be fake! The only way to ensure authentic joy is to make it a regular practice in your life.
Prioritize your joy
The great thing about joy is it doesn’t require physically doing something joyful to experience it. If the ocean is what lights you up, then go to the beach if you can! But often, the logistics of our lives don’t allow that kind of flexibility. Planning a beach trip or even just thinking about the ocean will help you experience joy in small, critical doses. Setting aside 20 minutes a day to just daydream will drastically shift your disposition. It will optimize your mind for increased creativity in your life and in your art. The challenge in all of this is feeling like we deserve to experience joy in the first place. We often put off joy or say “not yet” because we feel like we haven’t earned it. The postponement of joy can go from a moment to a lifetime in a flash if you’re not careful. I put off my own joyful dive into fine art for so long because I had all of these parameters around when I was allowed to indulge in the things that brought me joy. We have to stop viewing joy as the reward for doing hard work and start seeing it for what it truly is: Fuel for the journey.
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.