Following the Trail of Art – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 102
October 4, 2023
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
There’s nothing like some time away from your art practice to build excitement for the creative road ahead. I recently took a backpacking trip with my daughters through the Maroon Bells, which is situated in the Elk Mountains of Colorado. Aside from an incredible time of connection with my family, it was also a great time to reflect on art, creativity, and the struggles we collectively share as artists. From my own personal challenges to the voice submissions we get on the website, I’m using this episode to share some timely thoughts about navigating the creative journey. Join me as I riff on humility, community, and healthy mindsets that positively impact your art and life.
Listen if you are interested in…
- The beauty of talent, creativity, and humility [3:20]
- Using community for self and artistic reflection [12:28]
- Thinking about art versus making art [18:53]
- Focusing on the experience instead of outcomes [23:23]
- Why progress gives perspective [33:26]
- Going at YOUR pace [39:36]
- Making art with your mind, body, and soul [41:32]
- Finding ourselves and our art through play [47:22]
Creativity is for everyone
The core belief that has shaped my life and my work is the unwavering conviction that every person possesses innate talent and artistic potential. For me, teaching and nurturing creativity has been a lifelong pursuit. I’ve come to understand that it’s not about whether you have talent. It’s about the approach you take to unlock your creativity. Society often bombards us with limiting beliefs, comparing one person’s abilities to another, but I firmly reject that notion.
Talent isn’t the key. It’s about finding what truly ignites your passion and brings you to life. I’ve seen it firsthand: from the businessman who overlooked his daughter’s love for drama due to academic pressures to my own upbringing, where I was encouraged to explore and find what truly lit up my world. It’s this fire, this energy, that transforms ordinary individuals into seemingly gifted artists. My mission is to share this message because, in the end, our lives are the most significant works of art we create. And it’s up to us to make them truly extraordinary.
The mirror of community
One of the most important aspects of the creative process is community. Back in my art school days, I relished the critiques and camaraderie. However, once I was on my own I struggled without a supportive community to share my creative journey with. This led to the birth of Art2Life, a quest for a creative community where we can share and reflect. I’ve learned true self-awareness arises from the mirror of others. It’s not about imitation or ego, but rather the checks and balances they provide. We all yearn to be seen, felt, and heard. And it’s in those moments we feel most connected to ourselves. The lesson is clear: we can go further and faster with the reflections of others.
Just make it
One of the biggest disconnects artists have is the distinction between thinking about making art and actually making art. When we dwell on the idea of creating art, we often subject ourselves to unnecessary pressures. We worry about not producing, feeling the weight of expectations, or even fearing failure. These mental gymnastics cast a shadow over the joy of art-making and can deeply affect our work. However, the act of crafting art, the moment when you put brush to canvas and immerse yourself in colors and creation…THAT is the real essence of it. Art-making is supposed to be stress-free! It’s supposed to be a vacation from life’s complexities. Endlessly thinking (more like stressing) about your art just isn’t that helpful. It’s in the making of art that real progress happens!
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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.