the eggplant technique of creativity

A Creative Life, art techniques, artist book, artistic inspirations, author illustrator, food in art, graphic narrative, illustration, mental health, story, Sustainable creativity, visual story, visual thinking, words and pictures

“Feelings are guides not gods” is a phrase from “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit”, the new print version I’m currently working on. The concept is illustrated by this story:

EggplantSM

Here’s some text from the book related to the artwork: “Do you think that feelings keep you from doing things? More good news – they don’t! We’ve all done many things we didn’t feel like doing – such as going to school or work when we didn’t feel like it – which proves that: Feelings don’t keep us from doing things. Moreover, when you do that thing you feel scared to do, you are nourishing your courage…… Remember, you are responsible for your feelings not responsible to them.” (see the Eggplant story above)

Cultivating and maintaining a high level of Emotional Intelligence is essential to well-being (and creativity). Good mental health is about more than just the absence of mental illness – it is the presence of good coping skills, being able to self-regulate, to see feelings as a guide whether the feelings are your own or someone else’s. (Btw: there’s a good article about teaching Emotional Intelligence here.)

I’ve found Dr. Bob’s concept of “feelings are guides not gods” applies to creativity, and the creative life, as well. Whether or not I feel a particular way doesn’t have to affect whether or not I make my artwork. My feelings are not a “god” to be obeyed. If it’s time to work in the studio, however short or long the time-to-work I’ve allotted is, off I go to my creative work no matter how happy, sad or inspired I feel at the moment.

Where I use my feelings as a “guide” is when I’m out in the world on the lookout for possible art-topics. I keep my inner eye open for things that capture my curiosity and my imagination. Then I keep a list of those things and my feelings related to them in my sketchbooks for future art-making. My use of this “feelings as guide” technique has helped me create many helpful guidebooks, so to speak, for my own creative life.  I find it a sustainable creative practice.

All that aside I’d like to add that eggplant can, once in a while, be a very good vegetable – especially as eggplant parmesan.

free emotional first aid kits

ebook, published art, sketchbook

April 13, 14 and 15th I’m giving away free copies of my graphic novel ebook titled “Dr Bob’s Emotional Repair Program – First Aid Kit” as part of the Amazon KDP Select Kindle blah blah blah promo. Details about my book are here: http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Emotional-Repair-Program-First-ebook/dp/B00AQKZ8U6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428536041&sr=8-1&keywords=Dr+Bob%27s+Emotional+Repair+Program+First+Aid+Kit  but what isn’t mentioned exactly is that I took notes, did drawings in my sketchbook while Dr. Bob Hoke (a psychiatrist by profession and a storyteller by nature) talked during our many lunch meetings over the years. The “First Aid Kit” was complied from those notes and sketches. If you’re following my blog (at www.sueclancy.com) you know I’ve been posting stuff from my sketchbooks… Anyway, please enjoy the free ebook that is a collection of some of my sketchbook data!  And yes, I do see the irony of giving away a book with a subtitle “Warning: keep this book to yourself”.