THE INSPIRATION PLACE PODCAST
Miriam Schulman: Finally, artists who choose authenticity find fulfillment in their creative work. If you’re not choosing that, that’s what’s going to lead to burnout. If you’re not looking at the why and the who that drives your art, and you’re only staying in the what and the how of creation, that’s how you burn out. When you choose to look at your authenticity, when you look at the sacred side of your art, the sacred side of your soul, you’ll no longer suffer from burnout or creative blockages because you’ll be in alignment with your sacred soul and artistic passion.
Speaker 2: It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to The Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world inside a podcast, for artists, by an artist where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host, Miriam Schulman.
Miriam Schulman: Well, hello there, my friend. This is Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration. Welcome to The Inspiration Place. I am so excited for today’s episode. You know, somebody told me once that you’re supposed to pretend like everything’s happening now. But I’m recording this in November, and I am just so excited for today’s topic. This is a topic that I’ve been noodling on quite a bit, and I’m thinking about writing a whole book on it. It’s about your sacred soul and the role it plays in your creativity. So if this episode resonates with you, and you think that you would want to read a whole book on this, please DM me. I am @SchulmanArt, that’s S-C-H-U-L-M-A-N-A-R-T or you can leave a comment under today’s show notes, if you’re listening to this on my blog. If you’re listening to this on your app, just DM me on Instagram or you can send me an email or whatever, something. Let me know what you think. And if you think it’s a terrible idea, you can email me about that too. Hopefully, my team will filter you out if you’re too mean to me though. All right, so let me get started. What we’re talking about is something that I learned when I was studying principles of Kabbalah. And for those of you who want to know where I’m getting my information from, initially, I was inspired by the teachings of Rabbi David Aaron.
He has a beautiful YouTube video that I watched about life after death, and that led me down the rabbit hole of reading all his books and being so inspired and incorporating these ideas into how I help artists, how I help them achieve their goals, how I help them overcome some of the problems that they’re having that’s holding them back. So one of the secrets that really helps you unlock your artistic potential and live a creative life full of purpose and passion is understanding that your soul has two sides. Today we’re talking just about your sacred soul and creativity, but the two sides of your soul is that your soul has a sacred side and a creative side. The creative side is concerned with the what and the how, and the sacred side seeks to understand why and who. Now, we often hear that art is an expression of the soul, but what does that really mean? Is it really just using the creative side? The what and the how? And I’m telling you, it doesn’t. So how can you tap into the deepest recesses of your being to create art that is not only beautiful but also profoundly meaningful? So today what I’m going to do is I’m going to break down the different aspects of how your creative soul impacts your creativity.
And I’m going to give you some real-life examples. By real life, I’m going to pull from pop culture. Maybe or maybe now, there’s an example from some of my favorite things, like Harry Potter or Seinfeld or The Office. Just saying, so that it will really help you understand how this works. So in this episode, you’re going to discover how to embrace your unique artistic voice, create art that reflects your innermost desires and convictions, and achieve fulfillment and purpose in your creative journey, and finally, develop a deeper self-awareness that nurtures your creative soul. So if you’re ready to unlock your true potential of your creativity and embark on a path of self-discovery through art, then you’re going to want to tune in to this episode. Let’s get started.
There are four aspects that we are going to talk about. First, we’re going to talk about unveiling the connection. Next, we’re going to talk about what is the sacred soul, how it relates to creativity, how can understanding one’s sacred soul enhance your creative expression and what role does self-awareness play in nurturing the sacred soul for creative fulfillment. And finally, we’re going to explore the link between authenticity and artistic passion. So first, let’s talk about how to understand one’s sacred soul. One sacred soul can act as a catalyst for enhanced creative expression. When we connect with our sacred soul, we gain access to a wealth of insights, emotions, experiences that can enrich our artistic endeavors. It allows us to tap into our deepest passions and translate them into our creative work. This understanding helps us break free from creative blocks and self-doubt. And we become aligned with our truest artistic selves. Last night, I was watching a documentary about Georgia O’Keeffe, and she was talking about how when she finally took a job as an art teacher in Texas, is when she finally could break free and start expressing herself authentically. She looked at her art and she said, “Oh, this art I made to please this teacher and this art I made to please that teacher.” And she studied with some pretty famous teachers. She studied at the Art Student League with William Merritt Chase, a very well-known impressionist. And what she did then was she asked herself, “What art can I create? That really is my expression.” And what she started to create was her own visual language. And she did this first in charcoal. She decided she didn’t even want to introduce color in the beginning; she only wanted to use black and white materials to begin exploring what shapes that would express her deepest soul.
Now, the story is that she had sent these drawings to her friend in New York, and her friend went and shared it with Alfred Stieglitz, and he fell in love with her art, and they became basically pen pals. And that is how they fell in love. And the rest is history. So it’s so interesting how she started creating her visual language by seeing these shapes in her mind and then started exploring them. And that was something I had seen in the recent exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe at the MoMA, how she would repeat forms over and over, and things would begin to evolve and evolve and evolve. I want to give another example, though, of how we can infuse our creations with a sense of purpose and authenticity that is not from art history. So one great example is from The Office, and this is the episode where Michael hosts a murder mystery party because his staff is worried about layoffs, and he did this in order to get their minds off of the layoffs. So in that episode, and it’s called “Murder” season six, episode ten, Michael goes to great lengths to create a unique and immersive experience for his employees, and he spends a lot of time planning and preparing the mystery game, even creating detailed character profiles for everyone to immerse themselves in.
So I just want to share with you how this story relates to the concept of understanding one’s creative soul for creative expression. So first of all, Michael’s passion for creating a memorable experience for his team is evident. He puts in a lot of effort. He is dedicated to realizing this vision, and this mirrors how artists, when they understand their creative soul, can tap into their passion and dedication to their craft and create more meaningful and creative artwork. The other part of this episode I want to point out to you is the murder mystery really helped foster connections amongst the employees, even in this time of crisis, as they interact in character. So this highlights the importance of building connections and relationships, which is a theme in artistic expression. Artists who understand their creative soul, which remember the creative soul is concerned with who and why, can create art that resonates emotionally with their audience, and this forges a much deeper connection. Okay. Next, we’re going to talk about self-awareness. But first these words.
***Artist Incubator Coaching program review***
Miriam Schulman: Welcome back. We’re talking about how your soul has a sacred and creative side and how understanding your creative soul enhances your creativity. So self-awareness is the key to nurturing the sacred soul for creative fulfillment. Now, this involves a deep exploration of your inner thoughts, your emotions, your motivations, which is one of the reasons why Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, encourages us artists to do a thought download each morning.
She calls them morning pages. It does not have to be in the morning by the way. You can do this any time of the day, but doing a thought download to really spill everything you’re thinking out onto paper really helps you do a deeper exploration of your innermost thoughts. Especially when you’re not critiquing what it is that you’re writing. So this is a great way to uncover layers of your sacred soul and understand unique attributes that make us who we are. This awareness can help you recognize your strengths, your weakness as artists so that you can harness those inner resources effectively and identify what truly fulfills us creatively and make choices that align with our sacred purpose. So I want to give you a different example. So we’re going to move away from The Office and we’ll talk instead about Seinfeld. The episode that comes to mind is “The Opposite.” So this is season five, episode 22. I think it’s on Netflix if you want to watch it. So George Costanza decides that he’s going to do everything completely opposite of his instincts. Because he reasoned that following his instincts up until now gave him horrible results.
He reaches basically a breaking point when he realizes his instincts and decisions have led to a series of failures, disappointments, and unfulfilled potential. So he decides that he’s going to do a radical experiment. He will do exactly the opposite of what his instincts tell him and what happens next? So he ends up with a new girlfriend. He ends up with a job at the Yankees. It is hilarious. George’s decision to do the opposite of his instinct is a bold experiment in authenticity. It demonstrates his willingness to break free from his comfort zone and try things that are completely new. Remember, if you keep doing the same thing, you’re going to get the same results. And our brain hates to do new things because it wants to keep us safe. And I’ve said this before on the podcast, and I’ll say it again, whenever you go to do something new, your brain’s going to come up with all kinds of reasons why it’s a terrible idea. So in this episode, George overrode that, overrode his primitive brain that was trying to keep him safe and did something entirely different anyway, the complete opposite of what his instincts told him, what his survival brain was telling him to do. How can you do something completely different and override your survival instinct that is keeping you safe and keeping you small? How can this help you break free, perhaps from a creative rut, or explore new ways to market your art, or find fresh inspiration and fulfillment? In The Opposite, George breaks free from his old habits and follows a different path. He discovers a new sense of purpose and fulfillment that had always eluded him. So this shows how when we override our fear, we can often do great things.
***How to Sell More Art (Without Being Insta-Famous) masterclass commercial***
Miriam Schulman: Next, I want to explore the link between authenticity and artistic expression. So authenticity and artistic passion are definitely linked. Authenticity in art involves genuine expression of one’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences through your creative work. So it’s not about people-pleasing. It’s not about doing what your teacher taught. It is the raw, unfiltered reflection of your inner world. When artists connect with their authentic selves and embrace their sacred soul. In the book Artpreneur, I called it embracing your inner weirdo. But right now, I’m calling it embracing your sacred soul. You’ll find that your artistic passion flourishes. This allows you to create work that carries deep emotional resonance, and your audience will feel it on a profound level. Because authentic art speaks to universal truths and shared human experiences. Let me share an example from The Matrix. You may not be familiar or you may be familiar. So it’s the whole idea of the red pill. And I’m going to explain it to you, assuming you don’t know the movie, because it was many years until I saw the movie, and I remember hearing that idea bounced around and I didn’t know what people were talking about. So if you don’t know what people are talking about, you’re going to find out now. In the iconic science fiction film The Matrix, the story follows the protagonist, Neo, as he discovers that the world he knew is actually an artificial reality created by intelligent machines to subdue humanity.
Now he’s offered the choice between two pills. He can take a blue pill to stay in the illusion of what he was experiencing. Or he can take the red pill to see the harsh truth of what is real. So let’s talk about the parallels. Let’s imagine that we are presented with our own metaphorical red pill of artistic authenticity. How would that work? So the blue pill represents the illusion of conformity. The blue pill is the path of conformity, and artists may choose to conform to external expectations, whether that is staying in a corporate job, whether that is painting in a way that you feel pleases people, whether you’re following trends, doing what society expects you to do, doing things that you think will give you commercial success. So this art, you may create an art that pleases others, but it might feel disconnected from your true self, or you might be living in a way that disconnects you from your true self. So the illusion of conformity, the blue pill. This is a path that leads to burnout, frustration, and lack of fulfillment. Now let’s talk about the truth of authenticity. The red pill. The red pill represents the path of authenticity when an artist chooses the red pill.
They can embark on a journey of self-discovery and creative honesty. So this is about living your life in an honest way and creating art in an honest way. Diving deep within yourself to uncover your unique artistic voice, your unique passion and purpose. In Tmhe Matrix, taking the red pill literally opens Neo’s eyes to the harsh reality of the machine-controlled world. Similarly for artists, embracing authenticity opens your eyes to the reality of your creative potential. You can begin to explore your inner depth, dive into your inner world, ask questions about who you are and what drives you, and recognize that true artistry is born from within, born from that sacred side. It’s not just about the what and the how. It’s about the who and the why. You’ll also break free from conformity, just as Neo breaks free from the illusion of the matrix. When you embrace your authenticity, when you embrace your inner weirdo, when you embrace your sacred side, the who and the why. Not just the what and the how. You break free from the illusion of conforming to external pressures. You can reject the notion of creating art to please others or living a life that pleases others.
You also can uncover your unique passion. So, like Neo’s journey to uncover his passion as “the one”, artists can discover their unique artistic passions. Now I’m going to pause here for a moment because I know many of you listening start to think, well, I can’t bring my art out into the world until I have this unique, authentic expression. And that is not true. That is not true. Bring your art out into the world now exactly how it is. Keep bringing it out. And then keep allowing it to evolve and keep bringing it out as it evolves. Think of Picasso. He went through many different iterations of what his quote-unquote authentic style was. Did he stay in the Rose period? The blue period? Cubism? No. He kept evolving. And you will too. You will evolve your entire life. So if you’re thinking, oh, I can’t bring my art out until it’s unique and it’s meaningful and it’s this and it’s that. That is not what I’m trying to say here. But yes, create art that’s deeply meaningful and resonates with your own experience and your own truth. And this truth will have a deeper impact on others. Finally, artists who choose authenticity find fulfillment in their creative work. If you’re not choosing that, that’s what’s going to lead to burnout. If you’re not looking at the why and the who that drives your art, and you’re only staying in the what and the how of creation, that’s how you burn out.
When you choose to look at your authenticity, when you look at the sacred side of your art, the sacred side of your soul, you’ll no longer suffer from burnout or creative blockages because you’ll be in alignment with your sacred soul and artistic passion. All right, my friend. So we’re about to head into the holiday season. Hanukkah is behind us now, for those who celebrate that, and Christmas and Kwanzaa and the New Year are right around the corner. So if you are celebrating, I want to wish you a very, very meaningful holiday season as you go into this time between the years. The time between Christmas and New Years, I always consider that space, the time between the years, which is an expression that a German friend once shared with me. It’s a great time for looking at your goals. And if you’re finding that you are burnt out, you are struggling with your marketing, you are having trouble. I want you to consider taking a look at working with me, whether that’s in the Artist Incubator or in the accelerator or one of my other programs because we all need help, just like Neo needed help, just like Michael had the community in The Office, or Georgia O’Keeffe had Alfred Stieglitz to help her learn how to market her art.
Your instincts that have gotten you to where you are right now, if they’re no longer serving you, you need to find a different way of doing things just like George. Now, that doesn’t always mean do the complete opposite. But maybe there’s just a few things you’re doing wrong and a few tweaks. And with some tried and true strategies, we can make 2024 your most successful year ever, both artistically fulfilling and financially rewarding. And it would be my honor to show you the way. So if you want to work with me, send me a DM. I’m @SchulmanArt S-C-H-U-L-M-A-N-A-R-T over on Instagram. Or you can look at what I have to offer at SchulmanArt.com/BIZ. B as in boy, I as in ice cream, Z as in Zebra. I have a couple of different programs that meet people where they’re at. I would love to work with you. All right, my friend. Thank you so much for tuning in with me today. I’ll see you the same time. Same place next week. Next week we have a very special episode. It will be a roundup of 2023. So until then, stay inspired.
Subscribe & Review in iTunes
Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!
Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!