“All the art we practice is apprenticeship. The big art is our life.” M. C. Richards
Leading ourselves is one of the hardest life skills and by far one of the most important. I don’t know if we ever arrive. I’m certainly nowhere close. But slow, incremental progress does compound noticeably over time.
It seems to me that the best art comes out of abundance. It can be abundance of anything. Love. Pain. Intensity of emotion. Seasons of personal growth you wish would turn to seasons of comfort and quiet.
But abundance itself is not enough. It’s not enough that the well is full. You have to be able to pull the water out of it and move it to the place it needs to be, using the water to shape the vessel you’re creating to share with the world.
That movement between the well and your art? It’s you. Your every day life. The skills you’ve developed. The relationships you hold close. The places you go to be held. The places you go to be challenged.
An experience fully lived. Work that captures and embalms one of those moments and turns it into art. Art that feels so truthful, the person standing in front of it recognizes themselves.
Build your art by building your life.