Filling the Well, Stocking the Pond

From The Complete Artist's Way by Julia Cameron,

"Art is an image-using system. In order to create, we draw from our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond. We've got big fish, little fish, fat fish, skinny fish-an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem. If we don't give some attention to upkeep, our well is apt to become depleted, stagnant, or blocked. Any extended period or piece of work draws heavily on our artistic well. Over-tapping the well, like overfishing the pond, leaves us with diminished resources...

As artists, we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them- to restock the trout pond, so to speak... Filling the well involves the active pursuit of images to refresh our artistic reservoirs... When we work at our art, we dip into the well of our experience and scoop out images. Because we do this, we need to learn how to put images back...

In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun... Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery. A mystery draws us in, leads us on, lures us... A mystery can be very simple: if I drive this road, not my usual road, what will I see? Changing a known route throws us into the now. We become refocused on the visible, visual world. Sight leads to insight..."

Click to jump in the pond!


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