Fotini Christophillis

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Every Artist Needs a Ritual

By Tina Christophillis

Oct 06th 2013

Inspiration

There are many things that go into the creative process.  I used to think that my studio practice solely included the time I spent with brush to the canvas, but I see there are steps that lead up to this point of execution, and then there are steps to conclude it.  There are rituals, habits, there is a way of life.  I have come to realize, that the artistic process is a holistic lifestyle.  It's not clocking in and clocking out.  It's not so simple or easy.  It's a lifestyle.  It's who you are.  You do it until the day you die.  

There are several things that I have realized are critical to my artistic process.  The most vital I have found is writing.  I make a habit of writing in a personal journal, by hand, every day when I enter the studio.  It's a ritual.  I don't think about it.  My journal is sitting there on the table.  It awaits me.  I bring coffee, I sit, and I write.  It doesn't matter what I write.  Sometimes I come to very deep and profound insights.  Sometimes I bitch about life.  Sometimes I sort through my feelings, as if I'm meditating, processing life, scanning through events and sensations and memories.  Most of the time it is simply an excerice of centering, getting into my body, paying attention to the moment.  For an artist, I believe, this is one of the most important things you can do.  Pay attention to the moment, center, get in your body. 

For me, and I presume for many artisits, being engulfed in the racing chatters of one's thoughts, can very well be the biggest obstacle to creative work.  It has been my struggle.

Every artist needs a ritual.  Whatever it is.  If you go to the gym at 6 AM, meditate in lotus position, walk in the park, smoke a cigarette, put on your lucky hoodie, take your dog on a walk, light a scented candle and your favorite incense, adjust your pocket Buddha scultpure to face the precise direction of your work in progress, open the windows, water your plants, boil a pot of yerba mate tea, whatever it is, you need to do something to center.  It's as straightfoward as that.  It can be stunningly simple and mundane.  For me, I have found, that writing at least 3 pages in my lined journal with a cup of coffee, does the mighty trick.  It doesn't matter what I write.  What matters is that I show up, every single day of my life, and I do the exact same thing and then I work.  That's the magic.  That's the inspiration friends... that's it.  

The artist's life. 

 

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    Hi I'm Fotini 

    Welcome to my blog!

    I am a painter currently based in Greenville, South Carolina.  Through my work, I seek to communicate an internal narrative using traditional painting processes.  

    Here you will find information about what I am working on, recollections of my process, things that inspire me. I am asking questions about art, writing letters to myself, reflecting, learning, growing, discovering.  Thank you for joining and supporting the adventure.