8 August 2020
WORK OR PLAY?
People always ask, “How do you do so many things? Don’t you ever sleep?” I always smile, but never quite know what to say to them.
I am a visual artist and a published author. People always use words like “amazing,” “talented,” “awesome,” “gifted,” and other complementary expressions.
Do they think that I have some magical gift for writing or making art or whatever else I decide to do?
When they walk into my home for the first time, they are surprised when they open the door to a world of vibrant color and original art in every room. I never quite understand this because it is my usual way of thinking and living in an environment that reflects my way of life. I am a visual artist and author. I make art, and I write – all the time.
I don’t “go to work,” but instead, I decided to play every day.
Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. “
But, something must have happened along the way that makes a child forget how to play. I’ve watched this happen over the years. It begins when a child goes off to school. The children are now in training to be like everyone else. Fortunately, some children survive these years of mediocrity training and eventually return to that sense of freedom and individuality they knew as a small child. They play, again, as creative adults. They answer the love of making art or writing just for the joy of it.
There is a reason that I can do the things I do that dazzle others. I often work 12 or more hours a day. The way I do that is really so simple. I don’t do anything I don’t like to do.
If I do not enjoy what I am doing, I have 2 options.
I can quit and walk away from it and never look back.
Or, I can change my thinking about what I am doing.
Are you serious?
How can that be?
The truth is that I am not working when I am in my studio, making art.
I am not working when I am in my writing office, creating blogs, thoughtful, personal essays, or spare poems.
I am not working when I am outside pulling weeds in my gardens.
I am not working when I clean my house, take care of my cats and dogs, or prepare meals for my husband and me.
I am not working when I am submitting my writings to publishers.
I am not working when I send my art works to gallery shows.
I am not working when I shop for groceries.
I learned to PLAY
I PLAY, instead of WORK
I changed my MIND
I received some wise advice from one of my professors before I left for graduate school.
“Act as if you know exactly what you are doing and never let anyone know that you are nervous or afraid or have doubts. Just turn your back on others and act as if you are in complete control of everything.”
And, that is precisely what I did.
I can still remember how I felt one day when I began
making a lithographic print on a printing press.
I knew very little about the process, and I was so nervous about how to do it. I can still feel my resolve as I leaned over that stone on the press. I whispered to myself, “Act as if you know exactly how to do this, Lynda!” I placed my hands and focused my thoughts on this process, I was in control. I was doing it! When we act as if we already know how to do something, we actually do.
I am now retired from teaching in an academic institution. My days are ordered only by me. I have complete freedom to do whatever I decide to do each day. I can work as long as I want to or as little as I desire. And, you know, I work more hours a day than I ever did because I can be wholly consumed with my passion for creating. I’m not aware of the time because I am having fun.
I am a little girl again, and I am playing when I write or make art.
The work I do each day is to play. I keep my thoughts open to possibilities, and I seldom look at the clock. I’m having the time of my life, playing. Picasso was right!. I learned how to remain a child. That is the secret.
For additional insight on this topic, I recommend that you visit this blog by Cristian Mihai.
This article is posted by author, Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright August 8, 2020. All rights reserved.
BREAKING NEWS: I just recorded this new interview with Patty Fletcher –
Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Chats with author and artist – Lynda McKinney Lambert
NEW CHAPBOOK – first snow
In episode #7 author and artist Lynda McKinney Lambert takes us on a journey which includes painting, poetry and more. Lynda reads poems from each of her 4 books and gives the backstories behind the poems. Laugh with Lynda and Patty – and enjoy your visit.