SCAD Counseling and Student Support Services and the writing department brought creativity coach Eric Maisel to the River Club Sept. 21. With more than 30 books under his belt, Maisel has made a successful career out of coaching a variety of artists, writers and performers. The lecture focused on setting good work habits and managing creative anxiety.
As Maisel began his lecture, he touched upon the idea that, as art students, there may be times when classwork may not be the kind of work that feels meaningful. He suggested getting in the habit of setting aside time for personal creativity.
While mornings are a better time, because the brain takes advantage of what he referred to as “sleep thinking,” Maisel stressed that the important part is doing something creative that holds meaning for the artist. An important part of working during this allotted time, according to Maisel, is not getting too distracted by outside influences. One shouldn’t hope that ‘maybe’ he or she’ll get back to work. As Maisel put it, “That ‘maybe’ almost always turns into a no.”
To help set up those good work habits, Maisel recommended that artists make a three month calendar. The calendar should be made up of weekly goals that artists know they can achieve. He was also quick to mention that if life gets in the way of those goals, then it’s OK to move them around as needed.
The majority of Maisel’s lecture was spent on ways to help manage creative anxiety. Maisel’s expertise on the subject was apparent. While many might suggest taking deep breaths to calm down, Maisel went a step further and added the idea of inserting a thought into that breath, such as “I am completely stopping,” to consciously let go of stress.
Perhaps Maisel’s most important piece of advice on dealing with anxiety came not from this section of his lecture, but from his introduction.
As he began his lecture, he had some words that many art students could benefit from: “You’ll do a lot of things that work, lots that don’t … don’t overinvest yourself in what’s in front of you.”Contact Carlos Serrano.