Saturday, December 12, 2009


Balancing an artist's life style may sound like an oxymoron given its often the tensions, the mismatches and the slippages that inspire creativity. Similarly, the season of Christmas, intended as a spiritual time of peace, giving, hope and renewal, has become a materialistic season where meaning has been twisted to promote sales and raise donations for many very, very good causes. The artist is challenged all year to balance the material, spiritual and soul with tremendous pressures to succumb to an economy driven arts industry, including government sanctioned aesthetics (a big topic).  In my opinion, its about how we deal with perceptions of conflict, and resolution is a process not an end point.

I recently attended a workshop titled "Dealing with Conflict"  where upon answering a series of questions the results gave insights to one's personal style for dealing with conflict....which I think could also give insights for how we approach working toward balance. Ratings, 1 - 10, with ten being the strongest tendency, were applied to the characteristic ways of dealing with conflict: 1. aggressive, 2. collaborating, 2. compromising, 4. accommodating and 5. retreating.  There's no absolute or right answer but as Dr. Phil would say "how's that working for you".

Balancing an artist's career, day-to-day business of art, creative practice, social and home life is a phenomenal challenge. Creating balance within each of these areas and between them calls for different strategies at different times. There's a time to agressively promote or play at your art, and a time to withdraw, or to negotiate refilling the emotional tank with more time spent with family and non art activities. Just a few thoughts.

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