Vulnerability Hangover Stories: Part 1 – Noah Woods – Ep 78
April 19, 2023
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
Being in connection with other artists means you can support and inspire each other through all the ups and downs of the artistic journey. Few have been there for me in this way like Noah Woods. He’s an artist, writer, and art instructor extraordinaire who’s been validating my hunches and showing me what’s possible in my art for over 40 years. Join us as we discuss our time at school and early careers in NYC, life lessons from prolific teachers, and how Noah has and continues to find his way as he goes.
Listen if you are interested in…
- Getting to know Noah Woods and his early days with Nick in New York City [2:18]
- The biggest challenges Noah is helping his students overcome [17:48]
- Noah’s journey as a writer [21:16]
- How Noah found simplicity, authenticity, and flow in his artwork and life lessons from Dwight Harmon [25:51]
- Four books that changed Noah’s life [43:13]
- Final thoughts [51:39]
Friends in artistic places
More than anything, starting Art2Life and working with so many hungry artists has shown me the value community provides to the artistic journey. Friends show you what’s possible in your art and life because their perspective allows them to see your blind spots. Often quicker than you can spot them. Friends can encourage us when we don’t feel good enough to go on. They challenge us when we’re settling on the canvas. They give us out-of-the-box ideas that improve our work. They can even push us to show and sell our work. Having friends in artistic places will make the artistic journey so much easier and enjoyable. This is why I’m excited for you to hear the conversation in this episode. Noah and I started our art careers together, and over the years, we have been able to support each other in wonderful and creative ways.
Developing trust for yourself
There comes a point in everyone’s artistic journey where you are introduced to the concept of trusting yourself in a big way. At the start of our careers, Noah and I used to ask each other all the time if our work was good enough to show to certain people or strong enough to stand on its own. That’s one of the reasons that art school can be helpful. It forces you to show your work whether you’re ready or not. And you NEED to show your work! Instead of avoiding uncomfortable emotions, you’re likely avoiding valuable feedback that could propel you forward. Trusting yourself is a muscle that builds and develops over time. Start asking yourself what YOU think the right answer to a problem is. Intuition is developed through trusting your hunches and seeing what happens.
Sometimes we find clarity about ourselves and our art in the most unexpected places. Noah illustrated this valuable lesson by sharing his experience with nine Tibetan monks. He found himself facing a huge creative wall when he was randomly invited to spend time in the middle of the desert with 17 other students and a group of monks. These monks took the students for walks in the 110-degree heat, where they sat everyone down in front of massive rocks to talk about life. They reminded Noah of his need for simplicity, joy, and laughter while cutting straight to the heart on issues of authenticity and flow. They mirrored everything Noah was sensing about himself, and he was forever changed by the encounter. If he had let fear or stress stop him from wandering out into the desert, Noah would have never gained the insight that has been so pivotal to his artistic journey. Listen to this episode for more insights and stories!
Resources & People Mentioned
- The Art Spirit (Book)
- Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life (Book)
- Journals (Book)
- Letters to a Young Poet (Book)
Connect with Noah Woods
Connect with Nicholas Wilton and Art2Life
Get the Free COLOR TIPS PDF here
- Follow the Sunday Art2Life Vlog here
- Follow Nicholas Wilton’s Art on Instagram
- Follow Art2Life on Instagram
- Subscribe on Youtube
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.