The Best Habit For Artists

Being an Artist, Creative Process, Photography, The Artist Life, The Fierce Life

Hi fierelings,

I’m sure like me you’ve read all the advice about having a blog. Publish something at least once a week. Sounds easy, right? The blogs that you follow? You check their published dates and you notice they publish multiple times a week. So, you get ready, you create a time to write on your blog and then what happens? You’re not quite sure what to say. You had so many ideas brimming in your mind but now that you’re here, you’re unsure what to write.

Enter, the morning pages.

The author of The Artist’s Way is Julia Cameron and she’s very well known as an expert on the creative process and the spiritual connection to creativity. I first learned about her while reading The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer. I finally got a copy of Cameron’s book. I was already familiar with the concepts and ideas of Cameron’s book but reading it for myself was invaluable. Besides detailing the connection between creativity and spirituality the thesis of the book is to recover or unleash the inner artist. The main tools to do this is what she calls the morning pages and the artist date. I will be elaborating on the morning pages here.

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This beautiful, yet inaccurate, map of the world drawn in 1832. One of many journals that I use for creative goals and ideas.

Put simply, the morning pages are three pages of longhand writing. No filtering. No editing. When you wake up one of the first things you do is grab three pages of paper, or a journal, and you write whatever comes to mind. This is mental throw-up. This is getting the previous day out of the way. This is getting your inner voice that says “You can’t do this” to shut up. This is you putting your doubts and fears on paper so that you can confront them and so that you can get them out of your brain. Don’t worry about proper spelling or grammar. Don’t worry about wording things poetically. You should not go back and read this. You should not show this to anyone.

When you perform the practice of morning pages you are cultivating inspiration.

Writing begets writing. The more you write, the more you want to write. Part of this is that initially you have to discipline yourself. An undisciplined artist is no artist at all. I think when you perform the practice of morning pages you are cultivating inspiration. You will find if you start this practice that it is hard to write your thoughts down unfiltered. You will find your mind wandering down mental roads you didn’t really want to think about which in a way is exactly what the morning pages are supposed to do. You get the ideas that you don’t want to dwell on out so that you can dwell on the good. Besides creating her art regularly this is one of the best habits any artist or creative can develop because it keeps the artist’s mind sharp, clear, and focused on what she really wants.

You get the ideas that you don’t want to dwell on out so that you can dwell on the good.

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This is the journal I am currently using for morning pages

How can the morning pages help with the writing/blogging you really want to do? I opened this blog detailing a problem all writers and bloggers face: uncertainty when it comes to what topics to write about or even “writers block”. The morning pages can help or solve these problems because when you get the mental clutter out of your brain you are left with the mental space to think, dream, work, and create the things you really want to focus on.

When you get the mental clutter out of your brain you are left with the mental space to think, dream, work, and create the things you really want to focus on.

I have noticed an increase of creative energy by practicing the morning pages. I have also found an increase of patience in my everyday life. The morning pages are an invaluable tool for the artist. Initially, I was very disciplined with the morning pages but now my goal is to do two pages, instead of 3. Even 1 if I have a rushed morning helps. If I go more than a few days without doing a page I find my creative endeavors sluggish. For a fierce gal like me with many creative goals that is not acceptable, so I turn to morning pages. If you are desiring to get your creative side running at top notch, or just want some more mental clarity, the morning pages are a fierce gift.

Stay fierce,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

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Artistic Entrepreneurship

Being an Artist, Photography, The Artist Life, The Fierce Life

Hello fiercelings,

“We don’t make films to make money, we make money so that we can make films.” ~ Walt Disney

I found this lovely Disney quote while listening to a podcast by Jeff Goins. He recently came out with this book, Real Artists Don’t Starve which I have devoured! This, in a nutshell, is what artistic entrepreneurship is all about. How can I make money with art? How can I devote myself to my art? How can I enable myself financially to get paid doing what I already like? How can I have the freedom financially to create without it being a waste of my time?

Stella in floaty

Stella Grace in a Minnie Mouse floaty 

Artistic entrepreneurship is all about owning your employment with your art. Sometimes you can end up feeling greedy when people criticize your prices but you don’t charge what you charge because you’re greedy. You charge what you charge to represent monetarily how much you are worth and so that the money earned can help enable you to keep on creating. You can’t create your best work when you’re stressed about money. You might be the most expensive person in your industry and that’s okay because your work is valuable. No one criticizes the price difference between a used Honda and new Mercedes because we, as consumers, recognize paying a premium price for a premium product. Consumers are becoming savvier and are willing to pay more for artistic work.

Money is ultimately a tool for the artist to keep on creating. I make art or provide an artistic service, you pay me for it, I use that money to keep creating and to make a living. As artists, we love our craft and have passion for it. We don’t do it for money, but we make money from it so that we can keep doing it.

fiercely pursuing artistic entrepreneurship,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Becoming A Mom Turns You Into A Health Freak

Parenthood, Photography, The Fierce Life

Hi Fiercelings,

Disclaimer: 2 hours before writing this I gave my 2 year old a banana popsicle (we all know yellow is the best flavor)…and then she asked for another so I gave her another…I’m not perfect or legalistic.

Disclaimer: I use the pronoun mom in this article but dad could just as easily apply.

 

Before you become a mom you didn’t know what bisphenol A was but now you make sure that any plastic you buy is free of it. Before you were a mom you didn’t know what might be genetically modified food but now you look for the GMO free label. Before you were a mom you weren’t concerned about how much sugar you consumed but now you hate all junk food. Before you were a mom you weren’t worried about eating a handful of m&ms but now you think your child is sensitive to red 40 and you’d rather be safe than sorry. Welcome to motherhood in the 21st century. This is crazy. We are crazy…or are we?

When you become a mom I think there’s some switch in your brain that changes and you suddenly become hyper aware to how many chemicals are in household goods and to how much sugar is in well, EVERYTHING. Sure, I cared about being healthy before I was a mom but after I became a mom I realized how unhealthy everything is that is readily available in any American grocery store. It’s shocking. It’s angering. Why is it that so much of everything in our society is bad for you? I’m not the crazy one here. Our world is crazy.

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I didn’t set out to be a health freak when I became a mom. I didn’t set out to be hyper vigilant to check labels when I became a mom. I don’t even have children with allergies or special needs. I just want raise my kids without having their constitutions ruined. I want their little bodies to have good stamina. I want them to view food as a way to nourish their body and not as an addiction or an emotional crutch. But everything geared toward children is sugar loaded or chemical loaded. Everything geared toward children is addictive. Everything geared toward children is going to give them a high followed by a crash. Which is insane because five minutes later we will demand that they sit still, be quiet, and listen.

So for all my other moms out there being health freaks with me for our kids, keep it up. Every so often I see a child throwing a fit at the grocery store and mom/dad tells them to be quiet while reaching for a soda and gives it to them. That makes want to scream. That’s insane. And I say that fully realizing I have given my child plenty of soda. You can’t expect your child to be level headed and calm while fueling their sugar and chemical addiction. You just can’t. And that’s why becoming a mom has turned me into a (mostly) health freak.

fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

A Fierce Life Ended: My Grandma

Art, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Fierce Life

Hi Fiercelings,

My paternal grandmother, Dorothy, passed away on March 4th, 2017. She had been declining pretty drastically since Christmas and in the long run for the past 2 years. She would’ve been 97 years old this year if she had lived to her birthday this year in August.

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Usually adorned with rings, but not here.

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In her 20s she did modeling – still beautiful!

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My grandma always lamented about her wrinkly old hands

 

I shared this on my personal facebook page.

Many of you know that my grandma has been declining for quite awhile. She mercifully went to heaven this past Saturday very early. I say mercifully because the last week she was in a very bad way. The last time I saw her was Monday night before her death. I made a point to take some pictures of her hands about 2 weeks before she passed. For as long as I can remember I would admire my grandmother’s hands, primarily because she was always wearing a beautiful ring or bracelet. Anytime she would catch me looking at her hands she would lament about how wrinkly they were. She would lament about one of her thumbs that were bent out of shape. She would then admire my hands with my long fingers and any rings that I was wearing, which was and is generally at least 1 ring on every finger – haha! I always claim that I inherited my love of sparkly things from my grandma. As I got older and we would repeat this conversation at family gatherings I would think when she would lament about her wrinkly hands that they are an outward sign of having lived for a long time. Not everyone lives long enough to gain wrinkly hands, afterall. I know the world seems obsessed with this age cream or lotion, which is fine, I want to look my best too but wrinkles are a sign of living and not everyone gets to live a long time. My grandma had a very full life. She was born in 1920. She lived through the Great Depression, through World War II to the War on Terror, she lost her first husband to WWII but because of that went on to marry my grandfather, she beat breast cancer, she was kind and generous, she loved her family, particularly all of her grandchildren. She once lamented to me that me and my younger siblings didn’t know her as the “fun” grandma. She would always tell me that her oldest grandchild, Amy, knew her as the “fun” grandma but though I tried to tell her she was plenty fun whether she felt that way or not I will cherish the memories I have of her. I mourn her earthly death but I celebrate the life that she had here. I mourn having to answer my 2 year old’s question, “grandma die?” but I celebrate that she lived long enough that one of my children will hopefully have memory of her. And like her, I hope to live long enough to lament wrinkly hands. Dorothy Dunn 1920-2017.

There is something about death that makes you contemplate life. My grandma lived 96 years. She always said how inside she still felt like she was 20 years old. Her life went by fast as all lives do. My grandma’s graveside service had a small, intimate group of family and extended family. Many of her peers have already passed or are in ill health and were unable to attend. Thinking about her I think of my mantra word, fierce. She was a very fierce lady indeed. And she will be missed. I rejoice that she is no longer in physical pain.

fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings