Creative Edge: How to Be Your Own Muse

How to Be Your Own Muse

How to Be Your Own Muse


Article by Cinthia Singleton
Photo Credit: Dasha & Mari
Magazine: Issue #30

The relationship between the artist and their muse gives us a buzz. F. Scott and Zelda. John and Yoko. Andy and Edie. One magical being for each artiste and, BAM, a meaningful tie to our own work as never existed before in the solitary garret. Sign you up, creative one? Well, why not? Who doesn’t want a tangible connection to their process? Of course with all that sizzle what you’re working on will be great and there’ll be the exhibition or book deal, whatever. Energy, traction… MOMENTUM. Ah, the muse. They seem to give us a voice, know how to carry us to the finish line, the whole while wiping away the tears, applying salves and loving us. A muse doesn’t necessarily have to be a lover, but someone who demands, and gets, the keys to our artistic soul in exchange for a map to our greatness.

Don’t believe the hype.

Creativity is a lot of work and all it promises is that and lots of personal fulfillment if you hang in there. Problem is, it can be one darn lonely process full of [waiting, pondering, procrastinating, hoping and praying for signs] and many of us find that we CAN’T do it simply, or simply can’t [concentrate, think, move forward, enjoy the process warts and all]. This is why we want to find a muse. They make a tough mountain easier, safer to scale.

The reality is not all of us will have a magical muse in our creative lives. In fact, gifts aren’t meant to miraculously emerge from behind the barriers but are mined from within. A muse, if there is one, is, like a lot of things in life, a PART of the plan; creative people are meant to encounter a SERIES of people and experiences to guide them; creativity is about a life of living and our creativity is a life force that contributes to it. How deeply or intimately, depends on timing, how open we are, what we need to learn at a particular point in time. They come to us in the form of a new friend who reads that first chapter, a new technique we learn or a book we read. They are the people who might listen for a moment or say something that illuminates a left turn over a right. Places we visit open us up to new experiences. These possibilities are infinite. We let them in. 'Till they do, stick with the boring part of the plan:

1 :: Stop talking about it and do it
2 :: Stay in the [ chair, room, studio ] for a set amount of time every day
3 :: Learn to enjoy 99% of the process, steps large and small
4 :: Be forgiving when 1% of the process hurts
5 :: Believe something good comes from each day, ‘bad’ or ‘good’ 
6 :: Maintain composure while struggling with new ideas
7 :: Learn the tricks that will enable you to ‘work around’ particular process bug-a-boos
8 :: Work daily

If you need more than this, it’s ego and there’s no place for that in the process unless you want to quit. 8 steps. You, yourself and you are the ore being mined. It’s GOLD not fool’s. So stop looking for the muse. They might SEEM like the most amazing gift personified but it’s really YOU and that’s already in you.

“The gold in life is for those bold and brave in life.” 

- Ifeany Enoch Onuoha

The Empress Festival

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