This article is by Moshe Mikanovsky, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. An emerging artist searching his way in the art world, he loves to share what he learns. With over 20 years of technology experience, Moshe combines his technological background and his passion for the arts with the goal of "working his dream". You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
When you say that you don’t have the muse to sit down and paint, what do you really mean?
When there are a thousand and one chores to do before you get to spend time at your easel, when you need to only drop the kids at school, pick up the shirts from the cleaner, have your daily grande latte with you best friend, run around the block few times to feel good about your health, load several laundry machines, then dry them up and fold ‘em all, pickup the kids from school and help them with the home work, drop each of them at a different after-school program, use the time they are busy for grocery shopping, fill up the tank, pick up the kids again, make dinner, get them to shower, prepare for bed… and where did the day go by?
Whether your day looks just like that or any other variation of a busy lifestyle that does not seem to let you do what you really want and love doing – make art – what is it that you fight really?
In his book, “The War of Art”, author Steven Pressfield describes all the above, and more, in one word – Resistance. In short paragraphs/chapters, Pressfield defines what Resistance is, where it is coming from, how it manifests itself to each one of us, and how everything that hold us back – from procrastination to self-doubt, fear to rationalization, sex and love – creates Resistance and takes us from what we were born to be and do.
Pressfield himself is an author who struggled for years with different types of resistance and he brings examples from his own experience. The book is written to any type of artist, mainly authors and visual artists, but is also a great self-help guide for everyone out there who has dreams and resistance is taking hold of them on the way to fulfill them.
In the second part of the book, Pressfield suggests one solution in the war against Resistance – to become professional. He explains, in similar manner, how becoming a professional helps fighting, and eventually concurring, resistance. But resistance always stays there, as a law of nature. Becoming a professional help identifies the resistance and creates a structure to fight it.
In the final part of the book, Pressfield goes beyond resistance, into what he calls “the Higher Realm”, where the Angels and Muses are. This is probably the most controversial part of his book, depending upon what you believe in. Connecting our inspiration with higher beings, God or gods, angels or muses, might fit your belief system and/or religion, or not. Take it or leave it as is, art – in any of its forms – is a spiritual part of our life, which probably cannot be separated completely from other spiritual beliefs out there.
Pressfield’s little book is a great read and I highly recommend it to each and every artist, in all stages of development. It is now part of my book collection and will be a constant read, reminding me to fight my own resistance on a daily basis.
As the book’s sub-title declares, I wish you to “Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles”.