Ep 126 Featured Image Podcast

Finding Clarity – Noah Woods – Ep 126

March 20, 2024


Artists are always asking questions. When you’re always questioning, it’s only natural that a lack of clarity arises. Your soul is always pulling you to the unknown.

We’re living in a world where opportunities are boundless. The curiosity to see what’s possible is a driving force. When you’re in congruence with who you are and what you’re making, it’s the best feeling in the world. And when the expression doesn’t match the creature, you must change.

Clarity is found through missteps, adventures, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to see a world of possibilities. In this conversation, Noah and I walk through the journey of finding clarity in life and art.

Listen if you are interested in…

  • Why finding clarity is a life-long process [3:18]
  • Gaining clarity through missteps and adventures [8:46]
  • Why Noah read obituaries, memoirs, and biographies [19:10]
  • Surviving times when we got it all wrong [25:40]
  • Push yourself outside your comfort zone to gain clarity [31:44]
  • How others help us see the world of possibilities [44:05]
  • Gaining clarity comes from experimentation [46:19]

Gaining clarity through missteps and adventures

I’ve led a blessed life. I had parents who loved, encouraged, and supported me. I’ve supported myself with my art. But in 2008, when the economy crashed, I lost almost everything. My relationship fell apart and I lost my way. I lost my confidence and clarity for the first time in my life. I found my way back through my art. I did what I knew.

It’s important to move toward the things that you’re facing. What outcome do you want? Spend time with those thoughts. Talk with people who understand you. What can you do daily that would make the outcome you’re dreaming about inevitable?

Would you share your work more frequently? Would you seek out teachers to perfect your process? Curate an insatiable curiosity. Dig and find out what’s possible.

Clarity comes from experimentation

You can’t be afraid to try something new and make adjustments. You won’t gain clarity thinking about something. You make something clear by embodying it, remembering it, and seeing it again and again. You get clarity by physically making things, anything. You have to start. Go through the ritual of questioning if it’s good, if it’s in or out. You’ll strip away what doesn’t belong until what remains is powerful. That’s living a creative life.

Perfection and I aren’t friends

When we were young, Noah and I shared an art teacher who kept a tackle box full of art supplies at the front of his class. He’d be painting and would suddenly, ferociously, mess everything up. Then with slow and deliberate strokes, he made sense of it. He reminded his students to jump in and make a mess. He’d always say “Perfection and I aren’t friends.” He was the first person to welcome and encourage artistic inquiry, and to take chances. He showed us that we didn’t have to live within guardrails.

How others help us see the world of possibilities

Noah always enjoyed reading people’s obituaries, memoirs, and biographies, which helped him learn the many great possibilities that life could hold for him. David Hockney’s memoir taught Noah that he could explore a life of art.

We aren’t always the best candidates to see the possibilities life holds for us. We all need to be part of a community where we can exchange ideas and show each other what’s possible. We all need a safe place to experiment.

Resources & People Mentioned

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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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