It’s not easy to go beyond our habits, our conditioning, our likes and dislikes as we engage in creative work. And so here is a container where the field of shared intentions (to open what is closed for us, to explore limitations) can be a support for us. Just as it can be supportive to meditate silently in a group, so we can do this work of expansion in relation to our creative endeavors together. Most of the time spent in the session will be “working time” where you will be creating in the medium of your choice.
What medium/form should I use for the process session?
The choice of medium/materials is up to you. You could work within your most familiar mediums here and see what comes from that. You could also work in a medium/material that you want to explore but feel hesitant to. If you are new to creative work, trying the medium that just calls you to try/fascinates you is a good choice.
You can work with/within existing pieces/projects, but I would advise against working with an existing piece/project that it feels possible to “mess up”. This will put too much pressure on your process. If your current creative explorations involve a lot of craft (time consuming projects that rely on progressive workmanship) I would recommend you pick up a lighter medium (writing, sketching, or painting, collage). You can work in ways related to your primary medium, but free from the technical demands of it. Visioning, dreaming, sketching in ways related to your current work might be good – or really fine to work from a blank slate.
Whichever way you go, it will be helpful from the start to set down an intention to “make great art”, or a final product. These sessions are intended to open different possibilities in how we relate to the process of art making or creative exploration, and a good first step for that is to set down the attachment to result. Think of it is an exercise vs. time to work on larger projects..a time to play, or to be your secret self for a while. When I do these sessions I make a promise to myself that I will protect my ability to be free and unafraid (meaning, unafraid to make work that is pretty, likeable, inoffensitve, palatable, etc.) over all other concerns. A big part of that is removing the burden of needing to share or show what i do within these sessions.
How does the session go?
Everyone in the group begins the session by simply sharing the medium they will be using for the session. I’ll offer some initial words (maybe 5-10 minutes) to set the tone of the exploration. For people who’ve already attended these sessions, its fine to just begin working while I’m talking.
Then we work together in the same zoom room, each on our own work for around 45 minutes. It is very apparent that we are not alone as we are working – there is a palpable kind of hive energy most often. Maybe two or three times I’ll offer a short suggestion/reminder/teaching of a few sentences (this is unnecessary for folks who are really in the creative flow and can be ignored, but can be really helpful if one is distracted/becoming self-critical/low-energy. Kinda like the periodic bit of guidance during a group meditation…
We will have a few minutes at the end for any sharing about how it went – what came up in terms of process or the relationship to creating. We won’t share any work with each other – it’s a rare opportunity to commune with others in a creative context while being free of “showing”.