Welcome to Friday. How have your friendships gone this week?
FRIENDSHIP. I commit to friendship, starting at home, believing that I was created for community and to share love. My best art will come out of a life lived well with others. –Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration
Writing about friendship is hard for me. The irony is I don’t do it well, but I try and I’m growing. A lot of artists I know are hermits. It’s not that they can’t be good friends, more often it is that they don’t know how to build worlds and be in their own well. My struggle has always been in the upkeep. I can meet and get along well, but the long term commitment has always been my downfall.
Enter my family: they truly are my best friends and have taught me so much about being a friend and how life with others can inspire great ideas. So many of my best stories come from them. I never tell a direct story of their life, but there are glimpses of heroics that filter into the stories, lessons they’ve learned, ideas they’ve shared.
All of my kids are artists in their own ways, my wife is an excellent writer and photographer so we share our work, but more importantly we share life. The “How are you today?”, the “Is everything alright?”, and the “How can I help?” questions are all important to keep you grounded in the daily lives of your family—and this applies to friends as well. To all my friends out there—I’m still learning.
So, this week and last week has been an odd one for me. Usually, I can go a month or more and not talk to anyone on the phone—but my wife. This week as I am considering friendship, serendipitously, I’ve had two phone calls and have a third lined up (and I went to a movie with a friend from work). I don’t usually do phone calls, that said: I do text—a lot. Daily, artist friends and I will text art to each other for critique or encouragement. Think of it as a more focused Instagram.
My family, my art friends, and this unusual, but really cool, week has shown me that this friend thing is all it’s cracked up to be. The big thing here is to learn not to reject yourself for other people. This fear of rejection is most likely the main reason we can’t easily build worlds and be in our own at the same time. It’s most likely that fear is the primary culprit behind our lack of wonder, our purposelessness, and our struggling friendships.
Bottom line, the truth is, our best art will come out of a life lived well with others. I’ve heard Andrew Peterson say it this way a few times now, “Art nourishes community. Community nourishes art.” Most artists I respect, once I get closer to their life, I find there an integral, even if small, network of friendship that has supported them to be who they are. I believe in this, so I’ve committed to it.
If this has been difficult for you, don’t give up, especially at home. Get it right there and the rest of the world will get easier too.
Parallel Pens (Amazon link)
I ordered these pens in October and they have already found a lasting place in my workflow. I am trying to learn how to use them for writing, but for drawing they are incredible. I still have a long way to go till I get a handle on them, but I am very happy with them.
RECENT GOOD READ:
I haven’t made it very far in the book, but the impact of encouragement and critique is palatable. These people hadn’t a clue who they’d become. They just gathered and grew. Commit to friendship and become who you will be.
Does friendship come easy for you? Have you found living life well with others feeds your art? What have you found to be the biggest hindrance to friendship for you? Let me know in the comments.
Have a great weekend.
Create, be happy, keep creating,
Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .