The Artist's Way - Week 8

Day 50:
I’m playing a long game of catch up right now. After being out of the office for a week, I am having to follow up hard on some things that fell into the cracks while I was away. On top of following up with the potential clients I met during the show.

I can feel the burn out starting. Or maybe it’s been hiding around a corner all along and I’m just now noticing it.

On somewhat of a plus side my new camera bag came today. Once I finish my readings and pre-work I will begin the process of packing it. I hope I feel better once it’s packed, because right now so much emptiness and potential is making me feel anxious.

Question: Do you know how old I’ll be by the time I learn to play the piano?

Answer: The same age you will be if you don’t
— Julia Cameron - The Artist's Way

Week 8 Goals:

Morning Pages x7
Artist Date x1
Early Patternings, An Exercise
Complete as many additional Exercises as possible.

So the text says that I can skip some of the prompts if they don’t exactly fit. So if you see an oddly numbered list, that is probably why.

Early Patternings, An Exercise:

  1. As a kid, my [step] dad thought my art was dangerous that made me feel inadequate

  2. I remember one time when he yelled at me for looking at figure drawing references because he considered them “pornographic”. (I’m sure he would shit bricks if he saw some of my work in past years).

  3. I feel very angry and cheated about that, I never forgot it

  4. The person I remember who believed in me was my Jr. High art teacher.

  5. I remember one time when she encouraged me to sit down with a guest speaker to talk about my love for drawing Anime characters.

  6. I felt encouraged and excited about that, I never forgot it

  7. The thing that ruined my chance to be an artist was when that same guest speaker told me the “truth” about being an artist, and that many people were already doing it better than I was.

  8. The negative lesson I got from that which wasn’t logical but I still believe is that I can’t be a learning beginner and be an artist

  9. When I was little I learned that “nudity” and “pornography” were big sins that I particularly had to watch out for.

  10. I grew up thinking artists were unsuccessful people

  11. The mentor who gave me a good role model was Paul Gero. He saw in me what years of disappointment and crushed dreams had robbed from me.

  12. When people say I have talent I think they want to benefit from it some how.

  13. The thing is, I am suspicious that I really don’t believe that I really all that talented.

  14. I just can’t believe that the life I am living is the life I am meant to live.

  15. If I believe I am really talented, then I am mad as hell at everyone who doubted me and everyone who didn’t encourage me and myself for believing that being an artist can’t be a profitable career path.

Day 52:
It’s Halloween. My favorite day of the year. Except this year I am just not feeling it at all. Aside from a trip to the Halloween store a couple of weeks back I haven’t done anything “festive”. I’ve missed all of the parties and fun, and I still have 2 days of work left before I have a day off.

By the time I get a day off it will have been 2 weeks straight of work.

When my dad asked about how I was feeling, I told him. And he indirectly called me “soft”. Needless to say this didn’t make me feel any better.

I started the process of getting some shoots lined up. More for my friends and less for me. But any day I get to shoot something is a good day.

My car needs an oil change. I’ll need to get that taken care of on Saturday.

It’s been a day since the new iPad launch, and I still want one, badly. Even though I know at heart it would be a stupid purchase because of how expensive it would be. And part of me knows I wouldn’t use it near as often as I think I would.

Why do you have to be so damn expensive iPad?

Why do you have to be so damn expensive iPad?

At least I took the time to do some of this week’s tasks. I feel like I have been slacking the last few weeks and haven’t given myself enough time to reflect on the prompts.








  1. Goal search:

    1. Name your dream: “In a perfect world I would secretly love to be a” Working Photographer

    2. Name one concrete goal that signals to you its accomplishment. Quitting my day job and making a living using my camera.

    3. In a perfect world where would you be in 5 years in relation to your dream. I would have a working studio space where I could work uninterrupted

    4. In the world you inhabit now what action can you take this year to move you closer. Try to live more frugally and build up a safety net.

    5. What action can you take this month? This week? This day? Right now? Not buy the new iPad pro, Shoot more and build my “team”, Stay focused, Watch more videos and continue learning.

    6. Select a role model. Make an action plan. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, Now. Choose an action (Working this is an action).

  2. List 5 things that you are not allowed to do

    1. Stay at home when I need a day off

    2. Quit my day job

    3. Buy new or experimental equipment on a whim

    4. Shoot something every day

    5. Work outside of my office

  3. Now do that thing on paper.

  4. List 20 things you would like to do. Answer these questions for each item: Does it cost money or is it free? Expensive or cheap? Alone or with somebody? Job related? Physical risk? Fast-paced or slow? Mind, body, or spiritual? (I don’t think I’ll be able to do 20)

    I would like to be a working photographer.
    It does cost some initial money, but eventually becomes “free”.
    It can be both expensive and cheap.
    I can do it alone, or with someone. But mostly it will require having someone else.
    It is exactly job related as I want it to be my job.
    It would be mostly fast paced.
    It would satisfy my mind and spirit, but would cause my body to be tired…but in a good way.

    I want to travel more and network
    Doing this “properly” could get very expensive
    This travel would be best to be done alone, but having someone else along for the ride could help offset costs.
    It could help me build by skills and clients.
    If done properly the physical risks are quite low, but it would require lots of travel and meeting of strangers.
    I hope it could be slow. I’d like to take as much time as possible.
    I would want it to be more of a spiritual journey.

    I want to make progress on one of my many project ideas
    It would cost a fair bit of money
    Not cheap, but not expensive. Unless you count renting a space long term
    It would need to be a collaborative effort.
    It would help my job.
    The worst physical risk would be injuries caused by lifting or set building
    I want it to be a slower process
    It would be more for my mind.

  5. Ideal Day: Plan a perfect day in your life as it is now constituted.
    I wake up, hit the snooze button a few times, and then finally wake up for real. I’m up early enough to take a good long shower without being rushed. I have the stomach to eat something for breakfast before heading out the door. No idiots have been in any accidents, and traffic is manageable. I’m at work before 9 and can find a stopping point in whatever podcast I’m listening to before heading inside. My boss isn’t on some kind of tear, he isn’t yelling, he isn’t stressing out about the state of some minute thing. He lets me do my job without micromanaging me. He appreciates the time and effort I put into the work that I do. The work I do for him, not for me. Lunch is something good, likely catered, I don’t have to eat the same thing I have eaten for lunch all week. I’m able to get my work done at a reasonable time, and have some time to catch up on internet things. I get to leave at a reasonable time after my work is finished for the day. I don’t sit in traffic for an hour going home, and if I do hopefully I have a good podcast to keep me not thinking about being stuck in traffic. I get home and have enough time to cook and or eat a hot dinner. I have enough energy to go do something that doesn’t involve crawling into bed. I get to sleep at a reasonable time, and actually fall asleep.

  6. Ideal Ideal Day: Plan a perfect day as you WISH it were constituted.

    The alarm goes off. I wake up having just enough sleep from the night before. I know my gear is ready and packed. I made sure of this. Batteries are ready, computer is ready, and my concept is ready. I take a long shower, longer than usual, and have time to shave. I’ll grab coffee on the way to the studio, maybe I’ll grab some fruit for breakfast. I arrive. I enjoy the silence before everyone else arrives, but not for too long since the crew will soon be here. The studio manager arrives, I’m not mad that they are a little late. Sometimes even I need some time to slow down As the rest of my team arrives I turn on some music, and let everyone get to work. The shoot starts. Everyone is working perfectly together. The images come fast to the workstation computer. It is done. After a backup, we break for lunch or maybe dinner. Time goes so fast when everything is working the way it should. The crew leaves, the model and I shake hands and wish each other well. My magazine contacts are happy with the RAWs, the clients are ecstatic, they can’t wait for everything to be completed. It’s time to cull through what we captured for the day. A call with my manager reminds me what my next potential projects are. After some quick color toning the images are off to the editor. Their work begins tomorrow, but for now, I sleep. But not before making sure everything is ready for the next day, the next shoot, the next adventure.

  7. Choose one festive aspect from your ideal day/ Allow yourself to live it.

Day 54:

I guess I’ll take that as a sign, fortune cookie. I’ll keep on keeping on.

I guess I’ll take that as a sign, fortune cookie. I’ll keep on keeping on.

Check In:

How many days this week did you do your morning pages? (Have you been tempted to abandon them?) How was the experience for you? I skipped one day this week (technically two if you count Sunday) due to travel. Otherwise I completed my pages each morning. I still don’t feel like I am getting the most out of them that I can. I also don’t feel like I am asking the right questions, even if I am getting some answers (see below).

Did you do your artist date this week? (Have you been allowing workaholism or other commitments to sabotage this practice?) What did you do? How did it feel? This week I took myself on my first real artist date in a few weeks. I feel like I have been slacking a little bit on these due to other commitments and being extremely busy.

I had originally planned on visiting the local design museum, but was reminded that there was an oddities show in town and decided to go there instead.

If I had a place to put it, all of these funerary tools would have probably come home with me.

If I had a place to put it, all of these funerary tools would have probably come home with me.

Jackalope, the most dangerous game.

Jackalope, the most dangerous game.

A lot of the questions I’ve been asking in my morning pages all revolve around money and how I both obtain it and let it get spent. So I guess in some ways me leaving the show without spending anything but the entry fee was a good thing. I have prioritized some things in my life over buying trinkets…no matter how strange and interesting I find them to be.

I also spent two days this week playing board games with friends. It was a good way to spend some time and get my mind right…or at least more right than it was during the rest of the week.

Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it? I don’t think I did. Or if I did I certainly didn’t notice it or can’t think about it now.

Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant to your recovery? Describe them. My mood this week was not so great overall. I was very tired and very much needed some time to rest. This was made very clear to me when on Saturday after my date I went home and fell pretty much to sleep at 6:00 and didn’t wake up until the next morning.

I very much need to budget more time for me in the upcoming weeks.

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