April 25th, 2006
i would lick dirt

(for lori g.)
ironically, on the days when i most feel like my work is shit, or that everyone else is doing it better, or that writing a blog is a waste of time, or that i feel unsucessful, i will receive the most thoughtful sincere, heartfelt and moving emails about how something I wrote (or the fact I continue to write) has affected they way someone looks at their life. and all at once i am humbled and grateful and rejuvenated. coincidence?
i don’t believe in coincidences. i think it is the universe showing me it knows more than i do.
how often have i wished that all my money worries, life worries, relationship worries, health worries, (insert random worry here _______) would disappear in a flash so i could live and work happily doing only the stuff that i love.
and yet i also know that there is something about learning to survive that is helping me grow. and that contrast makes life interesting. living in that tension.
often i worry that something will happen and i will not be able to make my art again. and then i think about that really hard for a moment and start to laugh. that is not who i am. my whole life is a creative process. every piece of it. i know that deep down.
there is a quote from picasso that says something to the affect of if he were imprisoned and had nothing to create with he would make a painting by licking the dust (or is it dirt?) off the floor of his cell. (I am paraphrasing quite a bit but you get the idea.)
yes it is the ego that makes us fear failure and causes us to want to compete, but it is the soul that actually drives us to create.
and we never have to worry about that going away.

Apr 25 2006
4:57 pm
Sharyn (Torm) writes:

okay…that you wrote “when i most feel like my work is shit” totally got me. 1. because you’d feel like that in the first place and 2. cuz I feel like that all the time, so perhaps I’m headed in the right direction afterall…. if not, it’s a good illusion to carry me thru the day….

Apr 25 2006
5:00 pm
Nathalie writes:

Thank you so much for that reminder! Specialy today!

Apr 25 2006
5:29 pm
PJ writes:

…this is exactly what brings us all on the same level…thank you for letting each of us know we aren’t alone in this world called ‘life’!

Apr 25 2006
6:25 pm
maryann writes:

a.w.e.s.o.m.e.l.y put! thank you!
>yes it is the ego that makes us fear failure and causes us to want to >compete, but it is the soul that actually drives us to create.
>and we never have to worry about that going away.

Apr 25 2006
7:55 pm
Leonie writes:

HO! to that!
what a beautiful sentiment indeed :)

Apr 25 2006
8:01 pm
diane writes:

keri, I don’t know how I originally stumbled upon your website but I revisit it from time to time. Your pondering about the loss of one’s artistic skills hit home with me. I’ve been a needlewoman for most of my life and take great pride in the quilts and embroideries I’ve created. Multiple sclerosis has affected my hands, my legs, my energy, BUT NOT my creative spirit. I can no longer hold a needle or cut with scissors, but with the help of friends, I continue to create new quilts. I’ve also started writing poetry. I assure you that my urge to create is as strong as ever–I’ve just had to find new outlets. best, diane

Apr 26 2006
12:27 am
laura writes:

it’s true!
a couple weeks ago as I came to on a hospital bed following surgery, I was analyzing my screen monitor that showed my heart rate, etc., and found that the bottome line on the screen responded to my breathing…i spent the next while happily altering my breathing rate in order to direct the opatterns that would appear on the monitor “etch-a-sketch” style!! life can be a creative adventure no matter what adversities we face…and so it should be!

Apr 26 2006
1:43 am
pixie writes:

yes ma’am. what would life be like if we felt like every scrap of work we do is worthy, purposeful or meaningful in some way (if not aesthetically pleasing)? how would that change the way we spend our energy that day? if we never felt like the work we do is shit again, what could come in or change? ……….

Apr 26 2006
9:16 am
artsy souls writes:

love, love your message…about the SOUL driving us to create…it really is an unstopable force from within…ones essance trying to be realized in the physical world…for that reason it is always pure beauty…

Apr 26 2006
12:51 pm
Jill Stuart writes:

Keri, I love your art and your blog and check in often. I love your honesty, and take comfort in the fact that everyone struggles with this negative self-talk and self-doubt. I’m sure all of the people who read your blog are amazed that you can feel this way when you’ve had so much success, and when you obviously have so much talent.
We’re all human, and there’s something trying to keep us from being our best selves. I think we benefit from sharing these experiences with each other so that we take comfort and strength to push through our own creative blocks or personal challenges. Thanks for sharing yours.

Apr 26 2006
12:54 pm
Swirly writes:

Lovely.

Apr 26 2006
12:55 pm
citygirl writes:

I completely agree that the thing which makes us want to create is an intrinsic part of us. So why, whenever I’m stuck or unmotivated, do I feel like the only way through is located outside of myself? I know that sometimes just getting down to it and making myself work is often the best way.

Apr 27 2006
2:05 am
Beth writes:

I am going to print and paste these words next to my computer monitor, for the uber-critic who lives within me…
“ironically, on the days when i most feel like my work is shit, or that everyone else is doing it better…”
Thank you.

Apr 27 2006
2:30 am
natascha writes:

Thank you! I wrote your last sentence in my journal and it helps!!!

Apr 27 2006
3:14 am
shawn writes:

oh keri. I have reynauds syndrome where the circulation in the fingers (and toes) go numb and turn white and then purple over coldness or stress.. and I worry about losing the loss of my fingers and creativity all the time, and worry what would I do? Sometime back in the 80s, I met a woman named joni eareckson who is a quadriplegic and unable to use her hands, yet paints with a brush in her teeth.
I feel encouraged. And not so afraid. The creative spirit lives on.

Apr 27 2006
1:32 pm
Donavan writes:

So lovely and so true…your posts always make me feel, think & dream.
:)

Apr 27 2006
5:12 pm
vegasandvenice writes:

An incredible inspiration!

Apr 27 2006
5:43 pm
lori writes:

thank you Keri.

Apr 27 2006
6:16 pm
art making's like badminton? writes:

your post and the comments (and how nice it looks outside today perhaps) made me think of art making as being like a game of badminton for some reason..
the constant badminton rally of like it or don’t. between ego and id? when you’re playing badminton and it’s not like you’re trying to win, it’s more about keeping the rally going? but in the end the shuttlecock has to land on one side of the net or the other..
and/but, one cool thing about art to me is how you can leave a piece and it can look different after a while. sometimes the bad stuff looks better and vice versa.
from wikipedia:
The first ever known version of the chapteh originated from 5th century BC in China. At the time, it was called Ti Jian Zi, or simply the

Apr 27 2006
10:30 pm
schmutzie writes:

here, here.

Apr 28 2006
4:29 am
Bunny writes:

As I write this, I feel exactly the same way — everything just sucks right now. Then comes along a piece of work that hits so close to home that it leaves you with a different perspective about things after reading it. I don’t think your piece is a coincidence either. Like you said, the universe shows us things. And the universe just spoke through you by way of your writing. Thanks.

Apr 28 2006
7:32 pm
fiona writes:

“often i worry that something will happen and i will not be able to make my art again. and then i think about that really hard for a moment and start to laugh. that is not who i am. my whole life is a creative process. every piece of it. i know that deep down.”
yes!
and maybe it just means that when you make a piece, you put everything into it. :)

Apr 28 2006
10:48 pm
Zann Carter writes:

Six weeks ago tomorrow my 20 yr. old son died. Creative work absolutely comes from the soul as you said and, in these last terrible weeks, has been my most solid connection to life. My knitting and spinning have been comforting and soothing in the meditative, rhythmical motions. Writing has helped to express my grief, to find ways to talk about it. Creation is a sacred act and it honors my relationship with my son to be able to create through these dark days.
I just received one of your wallets today, Keri. The whole package was a work of art – it truly brightened my day to see it!
namaste,
Zann

Apr 29 2006
8:36 am
Lala writes:

I don’t know what it is about your blog, but it always touches on a subject that I am struggling with – I could insert so many worries in that blank field. And I too worry that I will lose my ability to design!
Your words really make me think.

Apr 30 2006
12:18 am
Leonie writes:

hey you,
i just wanted to thank you… for being you ANYWAY.

Apr 30 2006
2:10 am
bohemiangirl writes:

“it is the soul that actually drives us to create.”
yes, indeed.

Apr 30 2006
10:04 pm
Potato Print writes:

OK, now hold it right there. “…that writing a blog is a waste of time….” Your blog is responsible for a big change in my world view, in my life. I read your site for about three months and then started to DRAW. Now I have colored pencils and a sketchbook. Tonight I put together my own blog. You are fabulous. Your work fuels my joy and my imagination.


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