Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Artist's Way

Many, many moons ago I read an article about a book called The Artist's Way. It's sort of like a self help book for creative people, to get you out of those awful ruts that hit from time to time and to make you generally more open to creative stuff. I meant to buy it, but never got round to it. Fast forward a few years and my most marvellous friend Becci said she was reading it and following the tasks so I thought I'd give it a go. This is the badger on Amazon.

There are two central activites in this book - morning pages and artist dates. Morning pages involves getting up 30 mins earlier than normal and writing 3 pages of stuff. Anything that comes into your head. Mostly stuff about how knackered you are that you're up 30 mins earlier than usual. And you just freeform write, any old rubbish. And you're not allowed to read it. You write it. Close the book. Get back into bed to warm up your toes. I've just done a week's worth of morning pages and it's quite hard work. Feels a bit like being 14 writing a diary again, all moan moan moan, me me me. However, I'm hanging in there.

The artist date is the promise you make yourself that you'll spend 2 hrs every week going to look at/do something by yourself that involves wakening your mind. Sort of like a date with yourself to look at stuff. I'm down with that; I live in the middle of one of the most culturally affluent cities in the world and how often do I go and get some for myself? Rarely, if at all.

So I went (with myself) to the V&A for a mooch. I wanted to go to the fashion and textiles section, but woe! They were closed for refurbishment. So I just mooched about. And had a brilliant time finding things I might not have looked at before.

Two key moments: I saw a lute. And I cried my eyes out. I used to play the lute when I was younger, I got quite good, but gave it up, as you do when you're young and clueless. Not entirely sure what the crying was about, but hey ho.

Then I went into the tapestry room and nearly passed out. Darkly lit and quite cool to protect the tapestries, it was a full on body experience - I was overwhelmed with the sheer scale of the work, the brilliance and skill of the craft and the entire dark environment. Needed a bit of a sit down.

And then, then, I popped into the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition and saw all sorts of brilliant ways with fabric and folding and wierdness.

Artist dates? I am ALL OVER THEM from on.

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