Your Creative Prescription
A new project. Plus, throwing away the mould: what we can learn from history's most creative people
Drawing on Mind is a newsletter that explores how creativity can improve our well-being and help us live a more mindful life; one that counteracts the ping, dings and distractions of modern-day living.
This week I want to talk about a new project that I’ll be folding into these newsletters and my Substack offering.
Originally the idea of creative prescriptions sat outside of my art practice, as a separate project. Then a Eureka moment came when I was chatting with my accountability group whom I’m eternally grateful to for giving me a big fat slap in the face of wake-up calls!
We met last week online, and I announced that I was going to give up my plans and dreams of turning my art into prints with a view to having an exhibition. Instead, I was turning to a more sensible project I had in mind. One that was more likely to prop up my more commercial workshop and facilitation work.
Calling me out
However, apparently, at the start of my 6-week journey with my accountability group, I said to them:
“Around halfway through our time together, I will announce that I’m giving up on my current plans and will get distracted by another project. Usually, this is self-sabotage setting in. So whatever you do, don’t let me give up!”
True to my word, in our meeting last week that’s exactly what I did.
I announced I was giving up on dream project 1, to pursue dream project 2. Luckily they called me out and it was quite the moment of realisation.
👹 That really I’m often my worst enemy.
This Eureka moment presented itself in the same week that I’d offered another artist some advice. She was wondering whether to even bother following her artistic pursuits and instead ‘find a proper job’ that actually pays the bills.
In my experience, I said to this talented lady, these things don’t have to be a binary choice. It doesn’t have to be one or the other; this or that. Instead, we could and should find a way to build our multifaceted sides together.
And we should NEVER give up our art-making for money. This is only going to set us on a path that ends at the Island of Doom and Despair; one we’ll find it hard to leave in the long term; leading to life-long regret.
Instead, we need to find a way to build a place that encompasses the hotchpotch of sides that makes us all truly unique. Where all our multifaceted interests can be expressed and yes of course in a way that enables us to also make a living. Without compromising ourselves or our art.
One size never fits all
I’ve always been somewhat envious of Austin Kleon’s succinct tagline of being ‘a writer who draws’. He manages, to sum up his creative offering in one neat little sentence.
But I’m pretty certain even Austin would agree, that he is more than a writer who draws.
We all are many more things. Many jobs. Many titles. We have many roles and even present a different personality depending on the time of day, who we are with etc. Our whole being and achievements cannot be summed up in a single sentence
The phrase ‘when they made him/her they threw away the mould’ - actually applies to every single one of us.
🎂 Moulds are for cakes, not people.
Stop trying to fit it. Throw your perceived moulds away.
(This has been a life long-challenge I’ve yet to win, but the older I get, the more the threads on my cloak of expectation disintegrate.)
Many of the greatest minds in history have had a multitude of careers and interests and I suspect, for many, one feeding the other:
Brian May of legendary Queen fame, is not only a musician, songwriter and singer but also holds a PhD degree in astrophysics.
Entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian was a botanical artist and a highly respected scholar of the natural sciences
Samuel Finley Breese Morse was an established portrait painter before going on to co-develop Morse code.
Holywood’s Golden Age actress Hedy Lamarr was also an inventor who pioneered the technology that became the basis for today's WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
Professor Brian Cox is an English physicist and former pop star of D:Ream (promising ‘Things Can Only Get Better’).
The greatest of them all - Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect.
So you see, my projects can’t sit separately. They are all entwined and intermingle in one great big beautiful often messy persona that makes me, me.
So keep an eye out for Creative Prescriptions. It will sit as a separate part of this Substack and will potentially be my first foray into paid content. But for now, it’s free, and you’ll get these posts as part of your subscription.
Keep an eye out for the first exercise at the end of this week.
In the meantime, stay creative
💫 Inspiration to Draw On
🎙️ The Science of Happiness Podcast: Finding Delight Through Your 5 Senses
For something so essential to our existence and well-being, we sure do take our senses for granted.
I’m fascinated by our five default senses - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, and how they help us relate to the world.
In this summary podcast, Dacher Keltner interviews Gretchen Rubin who has recently written a book on senses “Life in 5 Senses: how exploring the senses got me out of my head and into the world.” (I’m halfway through this at the moment so will report back when I finish).
Together they look at the five senses and how they can help you be more present in the world and even find more delight in daily life. There is a longer version of this interview but I particularly enjoyed this round-up version of the podcast. You can play along with identifying your senses and how you too can find joy and connection through simply noticing what your eyes, ears, mouth, nose and skin are detecting.
“No idea is conceived in our mind independent of our five senses [i.e., no idea is divinely inspired].”
~ ’Albert Einstein, Physicist
🎵 Music to Move Your Pencil To
Get lost in your creative pursuits with this toe-tapping, at times mesmerising album from French electronic musician, DJ, remixer and producer Kid Loco. Clarinet and sitar provide the atmosphere alongside mellow guitars and relaxed beats to form one long song that stretches and flows over 79 minutes.
This is a favourite in my studio.
💬 And Finally…A Quote to Live By
“I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.”
~ Carl Sandberg, poet, biographer, journalist, and editor
If you enjoyed this and know someone who might appreciate it, consider sharing :)
Thanks for reading Drawing on Mind by Georgie St Clair! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.