The Artist Within

| March 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

The workshop sounded intriguing. I can discover and recover my creative self, tap into my imagination, and increase productivity. I do want to experience new creative processes, I thought, as I signed up for this 10 week journey. I’ve been a bit stuck in my writing and this will be a perfect opportunity to get me going again. Using Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artists Way” as a guide, artist and writer Jill Hall would lead us down this path. Guided by Hall’s gentle hand, I soon found myself doing morning journal entries, solo dates with my artist self and workshop sessions that had me writing, drawing, collaging and most recently standing before the class shaking a maraca while singing my own new lyrics to the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Little by little I was loosening myself from the muck and feeling inspired to press on.

The class is part of the offerings at Bravo School of Art in the NTC Arts and Culture District at Liberty Station. Each time I drove to class I became more and more aware of my surroundings and learned that Liberty Station is fast becoming a major arts and culture center. I saw names I recognized like Malashock Dance, Pulse Gallery and the Women’s Museum of California plus gallery after gallery of artists I did not know but vowed to get to know soon.

On the site of the former Naval Training Center, NTC at Liberty Station contains 27 buildings on 28 acres housing various art galleries, restaurants, dance studios, shops and more. In the future an 1800 seat auditorium on site will be transformed into spaces for film, dance and events. One of the best ways to get to know this interesting cultural venue is to attend “First Friday Liberty,” a lovely way to spend an evening strolling around the area while visiting open artists’ studios and galleries, experiencing performances and topping it off with a visit to one of the restaurants or cafés. This happening occurs every first Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.. There is plenty of free parking and best of all it’s free. For more information visit the site at

But back to the discovery and recovery of my artistic self. I do believe that everyone has an artist within. Art is not just writing, painting, dancing, or being a musician or actor. These are our traditional definitions of an artist. Adding art to your life can be as simple as how you arrange a platter of food or what you surround yourself with in your home. Some people look at their clothes as an artistic expression, others at jewelry. In one dictionary artist was defined as (1) a creator of art, (2) a performer and (3) a skilled person, somebody who does something skillfully and creatively. With that definition, possibilities are open for anyone with a creative bent.

My art of choice has always been writing, so when I picked up the colored pencils to make the artsy card we were going to laminate, I felt trepidation. We were to write a mantra for ourselves and decorate the card however we wanted. I looked around the table glancing at my fellow “artists” and panicked. Their cards looked so pretty. Mine looked terrible. Then I realized, this is just for me, this will not be judged by anyone, why should I judge it. The saying I came up with was just right, the drawings not so good. My art is words, I kept thinking, not squiggles of color decorating the borders. That’s what we all need to ask. Where does my own personal artistic self manifest itself? Where is my artist within? The search goes on.

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