Ep 90 Featured Image Podcast

Life to Art – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 90

July 12, 2023


Every time I make art, I’m thinking about how it relates to my life. The ideas around art as a practice profoundly affect the kind of art you create and the speed and progress you make. Today, I’m going to be talking about the inherent life metaphor built into the art-making process. Join me as I take an in-depth look at getting started, why self-optimization is the key to more creativity, how to optimize yourself, and so much more.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • Why thinking only gets you so far and the practice of starting [2:25]
  • Self-optimization as a path to creativity [7:52]
  • Slowing down for new experiences [15:06]
  • Using different tools and pushing boundaries [24:50]
  • Letting go and embracing change [31:13]

Don’t overthink it

Have you ever dreaded a difficult and imminent conversation with someone? You may put off the conversation by getting everyone else’s opinion on the matter before finally facing the music. What I’ve found is that most of the time, the actual conversation and the other person’s feelings are nowhere near as scary as we’ve hyped them up in our heads to be. A completely different and unexpected thing happens, and all of that time we spent worrying is wasted. In life and in art, thinking only gets you so far. You can plan to show up, but you can’t really pre-meditate what’s going to happen when you do. The process of starting something and getting in motion is most of what creates the thing.

Prioritize consciousness

It is a well-known part of flight safety that if oxygen masks are deployed, you should put yours on first so that you can help others. After all, you can’t do much good if you are unconscious. The same is true with art! We won’t be able to make authentic art that speaks to others if we aren’t focused on self-optimization. We have to prioritize our consciousness. We have to find what lights us up inside and make art that contains that feeling. It’s easier to get yourself to feel a certain way than to make a really great piece of art. When we try to make something really good, we tend to tighten up and compare ourselves. It sucks all the fun out of it. This is why I love this idea of first optimizing ourselves so it’s easier to create the artifact of how we’re feeling.

Become embodied

I am the first person to recognize my own impatience. I always want to go fast. However, there are so many amazing things happening in life and on our canvas if we can just pay attention. One of the reasons art-making is so great is it slows us down and invites us to become present. It’s about becoming completely embodied and experiencing the exact moment we are living in. And it’s those experiences that translate to breakthroughs in our art practice. If we’re open, present, and going slow enough, we’ll become more sensitized to the beauty around us and ready for the change in perspective that beauty brings. Listen to this episode for more art-making insights! 

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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
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.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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