Feeling instantly at home on the other side of the globe is undoubtedly one of the most profound experiences. That's how I feel about Santiago.
I returned at the beginning of the month and honestly, it's been quite an adjustment since it's my first place of my own in a while. The next destination is the Atacama desert in the north of Chile, but in the meantime it requires a readjustment and revision of the way I live and work.
The nomadic lifestyle is definitely adventurous and so much fun. I wouldn't change my experiences for anything, but it's also urgent to listen to your body, especially when you move so much. So I feel that is the chapter of this period. It has forced me to let go of habits and ways of doing work that no longer served me. Some revision of my schedule. I guess most people have a very romantic idea of the artist's life - and while it's romantic and quite wonderful, it's a constant balance between creative and administrative work. Then there is the financial aspect, which is the most challenging for many of us. I believe that we should find our own individual balance, but also improve it as we grow. I bet few want to stay the same.
So for me it has looked a bit like this;
Set intentions and embrace the unexpected outcome
I've often felt an urge to push until I met my exact vision—whether it's budget or a piece of art. The shift in physical energy has helped me to let go of whatever my mind thought was the goal and see the results with a curious perspective. Maybe the painting didn't turn out exactly how I imagined, but I like the different style that came out of it. Could I explore it more and see where it takes me? I suddenly don't have much work, therefore not much money. Instead, however, I have a lot of time - could I use it to take care of myself? Could I go on multiple trips without destinations? Could I doodle or hang out with my friends more? Could I consume more art than I create? How can I get the best out of this?
With the example above, I currently have more time than usual. It's a sweet spot I want to embrace as I'm not sure I'll be able to keep this extra time when I move again. So I've spread all my art supplies out on the floor and not allowed myself to clean up before I leave. This means that when I feel inspired, the tools are right there, and I've been playing a lot! One of the days I emptied my acrylic tubes and messed up the paint all over the paper, I've been sketching aimlessly and just playing with everything I have like I would do as a kid before the adults discovered the mess. It has led me to so many new techniques and ideas. Pieces I've saved from other artists with the idea of emulating their style and learning from it "someday maybe" - yes, one day actually came and spanned a few days, allowing me to truly unfold, which I, as I realized, should do much more often. Play!
Release things without deadlines
This was probably the hardest challenge for me. Being very perfectionist and goal oriented (not very artistic, right?) I spend far too much time in my head and in the future. If there are tasks to be done, I want them done now so I can sit back and enjoy - except I'm not enjoying, I'm just making up more things to keep myself from the joy. A little millennial perhaps, but nevertheless it has been a strong pattern that I disrupt and replace with the better over time.
I think it often takes us a few rounds to get the message about things we already know. It's like there is a download or processing time. For me, it feels like it's coming to an end in this area, and instead of rushing through the boring or must-do tasks, I feel confident spreading them out over the days, which gives more time for the fun stuff. Now that I think about it, I remember a Danish saying, "Do before you enjoy", which may be great at times - but shouldn't be the general rule of life.
I am so amazed at the wonders of these adjustments. The pieces I've made in recent weeks are some to be proud of. The discoveries and the time for rest and reflection have been just amazing. And the presence I feel with myself and those around me, I wouldn't change for anything. Now the true art is to keep growing with this - take a breath and take a step back when I get carried away. Go back to the original intentions of things and pause when I am out of presence and ask myself:
"What would be pleasing to you right now? And can you do it right now?"
Hope you liked it.
Lots of love,