This is the second and final post on the Grey Noise blog exploring a little bit of the skills we as artists (and as human beings!) can dedicate our time and energy to practicing this year. These and the previous suggestions are based on Artistic Director Jess Meyer-Crosby's personal list of "18 Practices for 2018." For the first half of the public version of the list, click here.
Saying "Thank You"
Out loud. To the people who matter most to you. Make sure you're not taking for granted that the people who have helped you get where you are now know how much their help has meant to you. You'll find this strengthens not only your personal relationships, but your career and professional reputation as well.
I'm hoping to get better this year at telling myself "A craving for ice cream doesn't mean you need a whole pint of Chunky Monkey. A single scoop of peanut butter swirl will be fine," as well as other less-specific but just as useful phrases... The first step for me is practicing healthy indulging--smaller portions, healthier but still cravable alternatives, etc.
Actually Reading the Facebook Articles You Save
Don't laugh. If you're like me, you save so much incredible content curated by your amazing friends and the Facebook pages you follow with the supposed intent of reading the articles (they look so long...) at a later date, only to never open them again. Imagine how educated you could be if you took the time to read them when you saw them! If this seems impossible, take a few minutes an evening to read the top article you've saved that day.
Wearing Only Clothes That Scream "You"
It might not seem like an important skill to practice, but committing to a wardrobe that screams "this is who I am!" can be an important and easy step in living authentically. This means wearing clothes that fit your personal style and your body. Comfort is key. This is your year to stop being someone or something that you're not. Only put it on if it makes you happy, and if it does, wear it without a thought for what anyone else thinks. Clothing is a daily opportunity to express yourself creatively. Don't pass it up! If you don't have time to put together a fashion masterpiece in the mornings, look online for easy outfit "formulas" that make you smile and are practical for your life.
Fear of failure often keeps us as artists from pursuing the messier facets of our art forms. If I screw up, then the mess was all for nothing! we tell ourselves. I'm committing to practice getting my hands dirty this year, mainly through the mediums of painting and sculpture. I keep reminding myself that I have a lot to learn, but I also have a lot to offer.
Active Free Time
When people ask me what I do for fun, I want at least one of the first five things that pop into my head to be a physically demanding activity. Why? I want to keep my instrument honed (my body, that is) preferably while having fun in the process. Ben and I both like rock climbing, so that seems like a promising place to start. Other great ideas are swing dancing, pickup basketball, hiking, swimming, and even parkour!
Art That Scares You
In a similar vein as making messes, overcoming fear is a crucial part of the artist's journey. And it's not a one-time victory over fear. It's a constant practice of taking on projects and challenges that scare you a little.