I recently posted a photograph of an art piece I’ve been working on in the studio on my Instagram feed (@norahlevineart ). In that post I commented on the concept of showing up.
I’ve been thinking about what “showing up” for myself means as an artist. Here are some examples:
Literally Showing Up
Excuses aside, I’ve been doing everything I can to make the decision to show up for myself. As a freelance artist and photographer, I am required to be self-motivated and make decisions everyday about how to best spend my time. Within each day I have about a million and one choices about what to do next. Billing, marketing, social media, networking, editing, the list goes on. The freedom of being a freelancer is priceless, but with freedom comes responsibility, right?
Literally showing up means saying “no” to lots of other things that take my attention and saying “yes” to just being in the studio and showing up for my art. Often times showing up is the hardest part and once I get rolling in the studio, there is much more ease. Even if I don’t end up creating anything incredible, I feel good knowing I showed up and put in some time.
Showing Up for Future Me
You may have noticed (eh hem) that I started this Creative Journey blog a LONG time ago and kind of dropped the ball on keeping up with it. I feel like I have had a good excuse, part of which that I was asked to create larger-scale art pieces for display and sale in a gorgeous restaurant (Radish & Rye) in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Before creating the pieces for this purpose I had made just a couple of pieces larger than 10”x10.” Being offered an opportunity to create work larger than I felt at the time I was “ready” to make felt overwhelming but also exciting. I wanted to step into this challenge and so I made the decision to show up for the artist I wanted to be–the future me.
This project took a lot of my time and energy for a bit of time. Working larger brought on many new challenges, but also some new creative freedom. I loved the physicality of working larger. Taking up space and spreading out felt good I had a lovely reception in June of this year at the restaurant and felt extremely fulfilled. I’m feeling grateful to have sold several pieces. I really feel like showing up for the “future me” was a big part of this success.
Standing Up for Myself
I’m learning that sometimes the “power-through Norah” needs to be told to take a seat.
Part of me showing and showing up for myself means giving myself a break when I truly need it. Creativity can’t be turned on and off like a light. Of course there are times wherein showing up even when I don’t feel like it can be very effective, but there are other times when showing up means stepping back. Spending time outdoors, practicing yoga, or spending time with friends can often help me recharge. Standing up for myself means taking care of how I spend my time creating, but it also means standing up for when I need to back off.
What are some of the ways you choose to show up for yourself?