Your One Word – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 119
January 31, 2024
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
Have you ever chosen a single word to orient your entire year? I’ve made a practice of it, and on this episode, I’m going to show you just how beneficial this is! Join me as I dive into the importance of choosing a word, how to do so, and how it relates to the five essential human needs of the Art2Life matrix.
Listen if you are interested in…
- How to find YOUR word using the five essential needs [2:10]
- Using connection and health to shape your vision [10:53]
- Choosing creativity and exploration in the magical and the mundane [15:53]
- The power of intuition in art-making [21:06]
Unlocking your one-word vision
As an artist, finding your word for the year can be a transformative and introspective journey. Reflecting on the past year’s experiences can unveil moments when everything came together and you felt truly alive. These are not just ordinary days but times when you felt deeply fulfilled, whether in a workshop, amidst nature, or engaged in creative freedom. Take note of the qualities of those days – the laughter, the challenge, the progress, and the comfort. Consider what inspires you and makes you want more. In this process, a vision emerges, and concepts like freedom, nature, mystery, and wonder may resonate.
The goal is to distill these descriptors into one word that encapsulates your desired feeling and place. It’s an exercise that involves listing several words, letting some drop off until one word remains. The journey doesn’t stop there! Now it’s time to test the word against the five essential human needs found in the Art2Life matrix – love, body, art, play, and soul. This thoughtful approach to finding your word becomes a powerful reminder throughout the year, connecting you to the core of why you create and reminding you of the essence that drives your artistic journey.
Allowing love to lead us
Delving into the essential need of love can bring greater dimension to your chosen word for the year. Take, for example, my word for the year: “heart.” For me, “heart” is a journey towards openness, an exploration of connection, desires, vulnerability, and self-love. Growing up with reserved British parents, my life’s work has been to embrace openness, a quality mirrored in their art-making process. When I think about love, it comes in various forms – connection, intimacy, desire, friendship, kinship. Your goal is to determine how your word intertwines with the characteristics of each essential need.
If the word were “untamed,” the focus might be on inviting others into adventures, reaching out to unknown connections with a sense of adventure and vulnerability. However, with “heart” as the word, I’m on more of an internal adventure, speaking from the heart and fostering connection in a sincere, emotionally driven manner. No matter the word, it’s about letting what matters most to you define your actions and decisions for the coming year.
Play with a purpose
Let’s use the essential need of play as another example. The notion of play to me is synonymous with adventure, laughter, and exploration. Amid our hectic days, these qualities often take a back seat, and it becomes crucial to intentionally bring them back. If the word I’m contemplating is “heart”, I see it as a key to unlocking feelings of openness and exploration. This means my year needs to be filled with a playfulness that cultivates the kind of “heart” feelings I’m after. Whether it’s experiencing the beauty of walking alone in the Redwoods during the rain or simply slowing down to listen to the intricate symphony of the forest, the goal of adventures like these should be laughter and exploration that cultivates the openness I seek. Listen to this episode for more on finding your word for the year!
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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.