Session #1

Last night we had our first online gathering for Circus Grads.

We discussed communities of practice, what contemporary art is, grit, resilience/failure, the pros and cons of setting goals, strategies for showing work and how to balance the business Vs making sides of being a working artist today. A friend made an interesting comment that having a fixed goal/target can limit spontaneity and creative flow. I agree, though I guess the opposite could also be true.

The image above is a visual represention of the group’s creative interests and practices, it’s quite a diverse mix as you can see. Lots of food for thought and challenging in a good way, it’s been a long time since I’ve experienced a group dynamic like this.

Reflecting on it today, I think an important ingredient in being an artist is forgiveness… Goals and grit and targets are helpful, but so is having a forgiving attitude towards yourself for not getting things right, for struggling, for always being a ‘work in progress’ both personally and professionally. It’s a challenging job to be an artist because you’re always putting yourself on the line, taking risks, remaining open to judgement and public critique/misunderstanding and unsure where the path is even going!

It’s about finding a balance between self improvement and self acceptance, pushing things and allowing them to happen. I am learning that incremental change through doing is a valuable attitude towards creating. This is something I experience and work with in my yoga practice too. I suppose these principles can be applied to all kinds of practices..?

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