Asking questions through your art
Artists having been asking questions through their art for decades if not longer. Whether it's for a greater understanding of popular culture, their own narrative and beliefs or a better appreciation of natural beauty, artist are asking things of their art.
My process is more directly related to getting straight to the guidance and insight we find when we let our minds rest in a state of flow. This Alpha and/or Theta state is achieved in repetitive tasks as well as creative endeavors where we become relaxed and allow our subconscious to surface. (here is a great description of mind states if you are not familiar with Alpha waves and flow)
1. Determine what feeling or issue you are wanting guidance or insight on.
2. Set an intention or believe that you will find an answer to your need when you allow yourself to relax into a state of creative flow (although sometimes the answer comes in a flash before you even begin or later after contemplation).
3. You can ask a specific question, say it out loud, write it down in a journal or just decide that you are going to explore that topic or feeling while creating. I live by this caveat "the art we want to make is not always the art we need to make".
4. Begin creating however you are inspired and go with whatever creative ideas come to mind, there is no right or wrong. Don't question your creative choices too much. If you are drawn to a color or shape or mark just go with it. You may not know where it is leading you and at this point you don't need to know. The key here is to ALLOW and get CURIOUS about where each stroke or mark will lead you to next.
5. See what your painting or creation has to tell you. Sometimes the insight comes before you begin, while you are working or well after you are done. If you still don't know what the message is you may find that it really doesn't speak to you until you come back to it days or weeks later. Again, there is no wrong way.
Here is a quick example from my most recent monthly Creative Spark challenge I send to my subscribers. My question was on what I needed for comfort or protection during my transition with my post-baby body. Here was what I shared from my experience.
"...I am looking for something that protects me from my own judgements. I know my judgmental thoughts come from comparing myself to others and the ideal being marketed to me. I want to protect myself not from what the world is saying but from what I’m saying to myself. I also want to comfort myself with self love. I’m creating this painting as a visual reminder to love myself and talk lovingly to and about myself during this transition and beyond. It's something I can hide under when I don’t like what I see and it will remind me that I am perfect as I am. It reminds me that how I feel in my body comes more from my mind than from my reflection."