“All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.” ~M.C. Richards
I have long thought of myself, and my life, as a royal work-in-progress. Though it may seem like a stretch, I’ve been intent on creating a masterpiece. It’s messy and magnificent all at once. Sometimes I draw inside the lines, other times outside of them. It’s much more fun that way!
Striving to curate my life artfully has demanded, in a wonderful way, that I adopt a super creative, open mindset — a way of thinking and being that considers all I encounter a medium for expression. For example, how I care for my body, what I wear, how I speak, where I travel, how I garden, who I spend time with, or (perhaps most importantly) how I love all offer opportunities for unique, playful, and creative declarations.
I’ll often ask myself, “What am I being called to create right now?” I always craft from the inside out. I consider this calling a sacred priority. What we make matters; what we make of our lives matters. Designing your life as a work of art allows you a beautiful opportunity to thoughtfully organize your experience. In other words, living artfully allows you to curate your reality in a unique, meaningful way.
I’ve discovered that when I deliberately focus on artfully living, I automatically awaken to more dimensions of myself and my world that may have otherwise been ignored. It’s as if I’m on alert, seeking to discover new representations of my existence within and around me. Reveling in the aesthetics of life deepens my appreciation of everything. This rather transcendent perspective — viewing life through a kaleidoscope lens of wonder and appreciation — makes for endless possibilities, fascination, and joy.
Each Day: Canvas, Page, Dance, or Song
If life is art and you are the artist, then each day is your creation. You can set your genius free to transform each and every fresh canvas of a day into expressions of colorful, personal meaning. Perhaps during some dawns, your blank pages become a perfect opportunity to alchemize dark, turbulent, painful feelings. You might write a story or poem that allows you to reclaim and embrace lost parts of yourself. Or maybe you move through your days choreographing each part into beautiful dances, performed solo or with a troupe of many. Maybe music is your prized medium, so you fill days with earnest sounds or songs that uplift your heart and inspire you and your people.
Each and every condition of your life can serve as an abundant muse of sorts, nudging you into fuller and fuller expressions of what you bear witness to. For instance, how might the energy of inspiration allow you to craft a day that feels truly enchanted? Or even a day that feels exquisitely utilitarian? The possibilities are infinite.
How profound is this? Artists are visionaries. You, and you alone, are the designer of the days you are blessed with. You decide the vibe you will hold, the tones that will be brought forward, and the impulses to be expressed. You choose exactly how you’ll show up. You pick what you’ll focus on, what goals you’ll achieve, and what time you’ll spend simply being. Your day serves as a container of sorts, allowing your imaginative thought and flow to give it further shape and character.
Art as Communication
Artists speak many languages — visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and culinary, to name a few. Each creator communicates unique perceptions and interpretations of the world through their instillations. As a result, the observer experiences one-of-a-kind pieces, unlike anything before.
You can cultivate your life as a powerful communication of whatever your soul seeks to take a stand for. For instance, maybe adventure is a priority for you. How would you give form to this pursuit? Or maybe you love all things literary, so crafting a beautiful space in your life and home for reading and writing might feel essential. For myself, I experience life as a spiritual path, so artistically creating opportunities for growth in this way feels important. I’ve built a little sanctuary in my home — an entire room dedicated to meditation, contemplation, and prayer. The space seems overflowing with good energy, and I had great fun decorating it to enhance its purpose. It draws me in each morning.
Constructing your life as an artistic expression speaks volumes to others. It tells them of your devotion to living well. You’ve given yourself full permission to exist on higher, more thoughtful planes of awareness. Others will likely experience you as quite intriguing and dynamic, just as exquisite works of art will have a different impact on each individual.
Creative energy is a flowing energy. It typically draws others closer. Recall what you do when observing a beautiful piece of art in a museum, or hear a lovely musical composition. You feel compelled to move toward it, or you turn up the volume. In this way, living your life artfully is bound to strengthen your connections to others. They’ll likely feel pulled toward you out of curiosity as well as their own desire for growth.
Love as My Main Medium
Modern Greeks often use the word meraki to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself in your work. These pieces could, for example, be your soul, your creativity, or your love. Meraki is what happens when you profoundly care about something so much, you put yourself fully into it. Your life is just that — your life! Are you fully in it?
I have to say that the main medium I strive to create with is love. It’s my go-to favorite. Dipping my paintbrush (and my heart) into love keeps things simple. This way, it’s pretty much guaranteed that my canvas will transform in a powerful way. So, I often set an intention to act from a place of love. I strive to leave a loving piece of myself in the moments I’m living. Love as a way of life is how I create meraki magic!
Creative energy is always seeking expression within us. I never cease to be amazed that when I actively choose to bring love energy forward, especially during dark or challenging times, masterpiece moments arise — moments of unexpected learning, emotional clarity, or intimacy occur. Love fuels my life force, as I’m sure is the case for many. This is why you’ll likely feel a special fulfillment when you create with this medium.
Art as Impact
Art helps us see with new eyes and feel with new depth. Art brings us alive with possibility. Imagine how incredible it feels to know that your life has touched others in a similar way. Celebrate knowing that your existence has already significantly impacted those around you and beyond. And that’s not to mention the incredible fun you’ll have during the creative process. So here’s to you, and to making living itself an art.