My ultimate goal is to live life as a work of art. Here’s how it works:
1. Take responsibility to create a life for yourself.
Be an artist creating a masterpiece. Actively shape your own life. Write down your goals, make an inspiration board – whatever works for you. However, leave room for surprises and diversions, as artists sometimes end up with completely unplanned masterpieces.
2. Consider balance in your life.
As an artist assesses balance in her work (e.g. light vs. dark, objects vs. space), consider productivity vs. rest, work vs. play, helping others vs. acting for yourself, and so on.
3. Develop your mind, skills, and relationships.
An artist can spend decades – or a lifetime – perfecting his craft. Work on self-knowledge, cultivating new skills, and refining existing skills. Nurture your relationships.
4. Express fully all aspects of yourself.
Works of art are forms of expression and can stem from unconscious or otherwise untapped parts of an artist’s mind. Seek out effective, enjoyable, and novel ways to express yourself. Draw or paint, write, sing, play trombone!
5. Acknowledge and seek out connections.
An artist contemplates the interplay between lines, form, colour, and space. We can consider connections and similarities between people, objects, the environment, and anything else we choose. Thinking about how concepts are connected can stimulate creativity. A fun exercise: make a list of random objects, then choose two and decide how they’re connected. A walnut and an inukshuk? An aardvark and loose change?
6. Appreciate and learn from role models.
Many developing artists take apprenticeships with experienced maestros to gain guidance, skill development, and inspiration. We can do the same! Find inspirational role models to help you reach your goals.
7. Regularly take a step back to assess your life.
Leonardo da Vinci would assess his finished paintings in the mirror for a new perspective. Like stepping back from a painting in a gallery to gauge its overall effect, “step back” from your life every now and then and evaluate it. Are you happy with where you are?
8. Nurture creativity.
Creativity is a pretty obvious link to art. What’s not so obvious is that creativity has a role in all areas of our lives, from careers and education, to romance and sex, to family and friends, to personal development. Apply creativity to all areas of your life!
9. Be in the moment.
Just like an artist loses herself in the process of creation, strive for breaks from thinking about the past or the future. Meditate, do yoga, go for a walk in nature, or take a few deep breaths to centre yourself.
10. Treat your body as a work of art. Keep it healthy and vibrant so it can serve you well.
Like overarching art movements, or individual artists’ work, our bodies are continually changing. Work to develop health and fitness as best you can. Living life as a work of art means taking care of yourself – both physically and mentally.