Monday, March 22, 2010

The Artist's Way - Week Ten

During week ten following Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way I circled back around to last week’s chapter on, “recovering a sense of compassion” and reflected on a time in my life when I took a creative U-turn.

"The September Issue" DVD cover

My memories of running from my creativity were triggered by this week’s solo artist date when I watched the film The September Issue. It’s a documentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry. It follows Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, and Grace Coddington, Art Director, as they pull together the September Vogue – the highly anticipated annual issue in which the designers’ fall collections are revealed.

Not following a career in fashion has to be the biggest U-turn I’ve taken. It’s the only explanation for why I’m not working in fashion in some capacity today. Throughout high school I poured over the pages of Vogue and made all of my clothes in the sewing classes I took each semester. During my senior year of high school I studied Fashion Merchandising for three hours a day. And when I wasn’t modeling I worked as a dresser – dressing other models during fashion shows. But my proudest accomplishment during my last year of high school was when I was a finalist in a fashion design competition.

I have spent the past eighteen years harboring resentment towards my parents because they weren’t willing to pay out-of-state tuition for me to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design or the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. It has been easier to blame them for not providing me with the “proper” education than to accept responsibility for the choices I made due to fear. The truth is, I doubted my abilities to design and construct clothes.  So my parent’s willingness to “only” provide me with an in-state college education instead of the out-of-state experience I thought I desired gave me permission to turn my back on the fashion industry – thus taking a creative U-turn – even though there were other avenues I could have followed to pursue my dreams.

As I embark on chapter 11 of The Artist’s Way and, “recover a sense of autonomy,” I can’t help but begin to ponder what’s next for me after I finish Julia Cameron’s 12-week course. Opportunities to show my paintings keep presenting themselves. I have two group art shows in April and one group show, a silent auction, and a solo art show in May. But I also have an opportunity to submit a book manuscript without an agent to Hay House Publishing following the seven-night writer’s workshop cruise I’m taking in June.

The thought of putting painting on hold for six months so that I can focus on finishing my book makes me wonder if I could be taking another creative U-turn. But if don’t take advantage of the opportunity to submit my book to Hay House – whose policy is to only accept manuscripts from agents – that could be a regrettable U-turn too. I just have to trust that as I continue to write my three daily morning pages that I will remain connected to my creative Source and be divinely guided as to how best to invest my creative energies into the opportunities – both in painting and writing – that continue to present themselves.

Visit to view the trailer for the documentary The September Issue.

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