The month of June started out packed with global anger and grief as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement being at the forefront of the media. This is a necessary dialogue and will take continuous, conscious work that we can most definitely tie in with our creative exploration. Creativity to me, can act as a connective bridge, a way for those left voiceless to tell their stories, a way for those who experienced generations of trauma to soothe and heal on their own terms. It’s also a way for those of privileged backgrounds, like me, to have a window into the experiences of others and learn through creative works. But in order to have access to these creations, it’s clear we need to make them more accessible and visible and it's very clear that MANY art galleries and institutions aren't doing this work. That's why I have a deep love for street art but that is something I'll chat about in another blog. I don’t have all the answers to make the institutionalized art world more inclusive and accessible as a whole, but I do believe that change starts on an individual level and that we can use our creative practices to reflect on self-accountability and look deeper into our motives and actions. As a white person, it’s important to acknowledge that my version of healing through art feels different than those of members of BIPOC communities. It sits differently in our physical and emotional bodies, therefore, depending on our backgrounds and inherited experiences, we will interpret this forecast and reflection prompts differently as our realities within these themes are not the same.
Last month we reflected on why we choose to create and how we can create things that are closer to our hearts. This theme really stood out to me on a global, collective level. It shed some important light on how our structural systems deeply need recalibration but also invites us to look at our individual actions and how these actions can shape the very structural systems we operate. With this in mind, this month is asking us to look into our people pleasing qualities and how we prioritize the concept of ‘’comfort’’. It is asking us to look deeply at our social circles and bring in some awareness of who we choose to give our time and creative skills to. You might feel called to analyze how you feel during your social interactions and how you choose to connect socially. What kind of activities do you do in your social groups? What kind of conversations do you have while in these groups? Do these activities and conversations support you in your internal and creative growth or leave you feeling depleted? Worst yet, do your projects or creative contributions directly or indirectly oppress others? If you notice you’re misaligned with some of the statements above, this may bring up feelings of loneliness, overwhelm, grief or even anger. This is all a normal part of the growth process and transition we need to take on a collective level. We need to observe these emotions and embrace them as guides towards change and transformation.
With that said, this energy is asking us to exercise patience within our individual work so that we can stay consistent with the desired changes and make more conscious actions in order to move together globally. We may feel that our voice isn’t being received by everyone in our circle, causing feelings of frustration. But the key here is to try to direct what we need to say towards our creative crafts. Action speaks louder than words and the energy this month encourages us to really focus on the action of creating. An important counter-energy to consider within this, is overindulgence. If you have yet to clarify how you want to use your creative energy, you might be tempted to overindulge as a means to distract yourself from being uncomfortable in the changes you want to make, or the story you want to tell. So, keep an eye out for self-sabotaging behaviors this month and try to see how you can replace these behaviors with a low-risk creative activity that will fuel you instead. Spend more time exploring your fears around making or sharing creative work. You can reflect on this through the work itself or AS you work.
In contrast, if you feel comfortably rooted in your creative work, this month may also bring the feeling of your ideas slowly starting to take root. This is a great month to remain open for new friends, collaborators or like-minded individuals to come into your life. Take some time and reflect on how you can give back with your collaborations or open yourself up to communities that are not of your background in a mindful, educated way. Support Black creators as well as BIPOC communities and take-in experiences through their creative lens. Take this month as an opportunity to open, learn and share.
- In what ways do I allow others to guide my core beliefs and decisions?
- Does my social circle truly inspire me to better myself? Why? Or why not?
- How can I meet new, creative people? What scares me about making new connections?
- In what ways do I overindulge and how is this getting in the way of my creative aspirations?
- How can I gently replace this indulgence with something more supportive to my craft?
- Who is my ideal collaborator (dead or alive) What makes them so appealing?
- What talents possessed by someone else would compliment the ones I have? How can we work together in a way that empowers everyone?
- What fun, low risk, creative activity can I do when I feel heavy emotions?
- Does my creative work reach or support BIPOC audiences? Why or why not? If not, how can I open myself up to a more diverse circle of creators in a way that is respectful and empowering to all members of that community?
If you have the means to donate money, time, resources, etc. to Black creators or to creative communities who actively support BIPOC, here is where you can start: