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Reminding yourself of what’s important

June 29, 2016

collage-Triangle in a BoxI am a victim of my insatiable desire to gather information. As a result, I have subscribed to several online art coaches, artist blogs, and many online organizations for artists (educational, social, and market oriented), not to mention several special interest groups on Facebook. I save tons of “stuff” in folders on my computer to get back to it later…because I rarely have the time or the inclination to pay attention at the moment of intersection.

And here’s what I am thinking: the reason I am stuck sometimes is that there are too many choices, and too many sources of juicy information that I simply cannot process all of them. Those burgeoning folders on my hard drive are very similar to my non-digital overflowing closets. That “stuff” never really goes away. Instead it waits patiently for me—I simply add it to the amount I drag around mentally every day, thinking “I should have a look at that.” Hmmm. It’s not just about painting or making art…it’s linked to a desire to tap into expertise or knowledge outside of my own. But the kicker is that I am overwhelmed by the amount.

I need to apply a filter and make a decision on how much I want to let in. Otherwise I’m constantly surfing for knowledge nuggets or creative stimuli and I’m never digging deeper into ideas or developing my own sensibility before I have been influenced by all of those outside sources.  So, I’m spending time selectively UNSUBSCRIBING and UN-MEMBERING.

I think I have figured out:

Trust my own wisdom (maybe figure it out first). Find my own rhythm. Find my own speed. Limit outside influences. Legitimize my own process.

********

Here’s an interesting book by William Powers about disconnecting or filtering digital input:

image of the book, Hamlet's Blackberry

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. blarsen100 permalink
    June 30, 2016 12:13 pm

    I can totally relate to this! I spend a lot of time online, but I also gain a lot of great information and inspiration that I haven’t found elsewhere. The trick is finding the right balance. Every couple of months I hit a bunch of “unsubscribe” buttons and it gives me breathing space and eliminates too much mental clutter.

    Like

    • July 1, 2016 3:55 pm

      Hey Beth,
      So nice to know that this is a shared problem! …and thanks for the reminder that I do actually learn a lot from all of my subscriptions. It’s just that my “wanna know everything” is bigger than my ability to “learn and apply.” LOL

      Like

  2. July 2, 2016 8:27 pm

    I feel that our brains may have been separated a birth. An aeon ago I heard that John Cage said, “read everything” as one of his tenets to greatness. I embraced it with every ounce of my being. The catch is… he wasn’t talking about the Internet. But I’m still trying. Glad to hear I have company.

    Like

    • July 6, 2016 10:24 am

      I love your comment! …and it made me laugh. Apparently I am easily influenced by the likes of John Cage as well, particularly by those famous artists who say “Paint, paint, paint every day; you must work in your studio!” I don’t do that because it’s never worked for me. But I’m still envious of those that do…

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 6, 2016 12:23 pm

        I’m a member of The Gallery ABQ and I met you when you had your Salon show.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. July 6, 2016 2:01 pm

    Oh, I remember! Weren’t you setting up for a show? Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

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