A decade ago, a storm of menopause and personal discord crashed over me. As a theatre artist, I was submerged in the scorching waves of hot flashes and existential crises. And then came my seemingly ingenious solution – a daily (or mostly daily) art practice encompassing writing, acting, improv, and directing because, apparently, my life craved an additional layer of chaos.
Armed with a master's degree in acting, neglected play drafts tucked away, and a penchant for improv rivaling a sitcom script, I pondered, "What if this daily art practice becomes my lifeline?" Spoiler alert: it did.
Embarking on this artistic escapade resembled instructing a cat to fetch – a passive, somewhat messy process, occasionally marked by bewildered gazes at my reflection. Yet, I persisted. Amidst bouts of wrangling with stubborn cliches and navigating the fog of my mind, I stumbled upon artistic revelations.
Let's strip away the glamour: sustaining a daily art practice mirrors the challenge of keeping a plant alive, where your creativity plays the role of the neglected flora, and you, the negligent plant parent, both wilting under pressure. Life asserts, "Adult responsibilities demand attention!" you defiantly declare, "Hold my pen." Artistic aspirations? It resembles a sequence of well-intentioned doodles rudely interrupted by sporadic existential crises. But here's the kicker – it works. I now have three solo plays that are all at the 50% done mark, one full-length play that is in a minor tweaking stage, a screenplay with a finished outline, and a weekly directing cum acting cum improv solo workshop that I adore. Lookout, 2024!
A daily (or mostly daily) art practice is a defiant gesture against self-doubt and a rebellious stand against the ceaseless responsibilities of adulthood. Take that responsibility! My journey toward confidence as an artist wasn't a meteoric rise; it stumbled through the choreography of a comedic routine.
As for my art practice, it's not a masterpiece; it's progress, each moment narrating a distinct episode of my imaginative life. In a world where the only reliable constant is inconsistency, a daily art practice assumes the role of that steadfast friend who never cancels plans. It's the refuge where you fling paint around, share a chuckle at your questionable dance technique, and stumble upon something resembling art.
To my kindred creative souls, embrace the mess. Your daily art practice might not thrust you into a superstar's echelon, but it can transform your life into a creative one. Who would've thought laughter, dance, and doodles could be the quintessential therapy for the artistic soul?
The Pattie Miles Artistic Clarity Theme for January, February, and March is PUT ON A NEW COAT, and Shane McGowan has been on my mind. So, I wrote this ditty for you.
Ye've wrapped yerself in a bleedin' shite rag of a coat, haven't ya?
A sorry excuse for an artist's guise, haven't ya?
Strip it off, mate.
Shed that disguise,
Toss it in the bin,
and go pick yerself a feckin' gorgeous coat.
Embrace the true masterpiece within,
And don the cloak of the artist ye were meant to be.
Dreamed a’ being.
No need to stick with rubbish – change it whenever the hell ya please.
No need to linger in the shadows – sculpt yerself anew whenever inspiration strikes.
Cheers to a wardrobe as grand as the night's last call.
Here's to unveiling the genuine love of yer artistic soul.
Art In = Art Out: What’s It All About?
Imagine your studio as a permeable membrane. Everything flows in – a film, a great novel, the news, overheard conversations, a fleeting glimpse of light, the grit of everyday life. The 'Art In' fuels your furnace, sparks your imagination and becomes the raw material for your creations. But then, the magic happens – the 'Art Out.' You transmute what you've absorbed, giving it a new form, fresh perspective, and perhaps even a dose of beauty or dissent.
Recently, my artistic soul was nourished by —-
The clever blooms and stunning thorns of Corsage's cinematic tapestry and its feminist emphasis on personal independence – how can my female character reflect this desire?
The darkly comical twists of Matt Berry's I, Regress audiobook – how can my characters embrace their insanity and subject others to their wild ideas?
The glittering facets and facades of The Eustace Diamonds – how can my more manipulative characters get away with their crimes?
Each work, a unique artistic voice, sparked new neurons in my creative landscape, proving that inspiration can blossom from the most diverse and delightful gardens.
Thank you for reading!
Your Art Pal,
P.S. These Art In = Art Out blog posts are free of charge. However, they do take time, energy, and a lifetime of artistic experience to put together. If you'd like to buy me a cup of tea as a bit of thanks, I'd appreciate your generosity. Buy Pattie a Cup of Tea.