Happy St. Patty's Day to all the Irish and non-Irish alike. After all, it turns out Saint Patrick was originally Welsh. Remember to pinch someone if they aren't wearing anything green today. (Can someone explain why that is?)
Since it's a religious holiday, I thought we should talk or at least listen to something spiritual. Sundays are days of painting for me. I try not to do any Internet stuff and I just stay in my studio holed up with my paints and brushes and I listen to TED talks. TED is an annual conference of scientists, artists, engineers and thinkers who meet and exchange ideas. The conference posts all of the speakers' talks online throughout the year. Long story short, on Sunday I came across writer Elizabeth Gilbert talking about nurturing creativity. It was so inspiring that I needed to share it with you.
Gilbert is the now-famous writer of the runaway best seller Eat, Pray, Love. In her presentation at TED, Gilbert talks about the pressure of having to live up to her last book. She describes having gone from being a no-name writer to having success beyond belief and the accompanying doubt of ever matching that success again. She talks about the pressure that artists of all genres face in dealing with their craft and, in effect, how to nurture creativity. Gilbert describes the pressures to create driving many writers to the bottle or being complete nervous wrecks. She blames this on the fact that our society doesn't have the proper relationship to our genius. The word "genius" is derived from the Roman word genii. A genii was an autonomous spirit that an artist cultivated a relationship with. Well, I'll let Elizabeth explain to you the nature and nurture of genius. I can't think of a more religious relationship to oneself.