The ARTree Community Arts Center

Developing the Roots of Creativity

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On Integrating Art & Life

Jeudi Cornejo Brealey

HomeAndYonder.com

Jeudi_Cornejo_Brealey

I love behind-the-scenes photos of artists’ studios. So, why in this era of social media, do I keep my own process private-ish? Like most artists, I’m an entrepreneur. And artists, especially performing artists, believe that we have to create a persona, or brand image, that’s polished, slick and representative of where you’re going, than where you are. I get that. It’s not so much "fake till you make it,” as it is envisioning your future and conveying that message to everyone who follows, likes, tweets, pins you, or, actually shows up to see your work!

Opportunities to create, control, market and crowd-fund your art are unprecedented. Technology’s a great democratizer, but, for solo-preneurs, there’s a compulsion to operate a virtual PR machine at the same pace as the people who have people. When do you create your art?

As a multi-disciplinary artist + wife + mother of twins with special needs, I can’t compartmentalize things. It’s easiest to integrate life and work. It all gets swirled together and really colorful, but that’s fabulous. I like the swirly, colorful parts. It means that now, as my kids are teens, I find myself at the crossroads of "emerging artist" and "encore career".

Hello?! What’s an Emerging Encore Career? What does that look like?! Maybe that looks like Julia Child, or Georgia O’Keefe, or Maya Angelou. These remarkable artists had late breakthroughs based on years of dedication. Maybe it looks like me: Sometimes polished, sometimes not-so-much, but always wearing bright, red-lipstick and a hat. (Usually many hats.)

I’ve a bountiful backlog of ideas in varying stages of development. I’m always creating, but things take longer to get onstage. To get a fuller behind-the-scenes look at my process, come to my ARTree talk Thursday, March 26, 6:30PM, at the Old Town Newhall Library. Till then, "Think big picture, work little picture."

ARTree: Developing the Roots of Creativity

Jeudi Cornejo Brealey

HomeAndYonder.com

Jeudi_Cornejo_Brealey

A new year can be energizing, tantalizing and daunting. It’s marked with resolutions to achieve a goal, obtain a desire, cross something off a bucket list, or refocus on developing relationships with friends and family. Art can be an ideal means of deepening this bond.

My family is one of close-knit multidisciplinary artists. When we examine the previous year’s highs and lows, plus our hopes and desires for the future, it’s in the context of living artistically. There are museums to visit, shows to see, places to explore, and new experiences to share. We plant these artistic seeds for the year. That’s our parental secret to finding the time for our art practice and family: integrating the arts into our daily life. It can sometimes be messy, frustrating and slow, but that’s the choice we made.

Our family just revisited the Sequoia trees in Yosemite. It was a good reminder to see that the seeds for these mighty giants came from pinecones the size of a child’s hand. Artists feel compelled to create, and feel like failures when they don’t. We need to remind ourselves that great things come from small seeds.

After the holidays, the winter months are a welcome haven. Our garden reminds me that during this seemingly fallow season, the plants’ growth has moved to the roots. It is a good lesson, because although roots may not be as showy as the flowers of spring, they ensure the healthy growth of the plant. Likewise, every healthy creative endeavor requires a gestation period.

While I’m digging in the garden, my subconscious wanders freely, growing new ideas just like roots. Later these imaginative thoughts can be married with action to bring about its fruition. But for now, just like The ARTree says, it’s all about “developing the roots of creativity” for myself and my family.