Getting real about being a woman in the arts with artist Mauren Brodbeck. Bi-monthly podcasts for female artists and creatives aiming to make a mark, change society, ignite their inner volcano and belong to and create a rocking community. Let's get real about living a life in the arts and the multi-faceted roles of being a creative woman.
Women artists are affected by societal and cultural expectations that restrict our ability to make meaningful art. It’s important to share our experiences.
I define “confinement” as the idea that women artists are still very controlled and repressed by the boundaries and expectations that our cultures and countries impose, and it’s a subject I like to talk about a lot. The effects of confinement on our emotions and energy—and consequently the art that we can or are allowed to create—can be brutal. In some countries and cultures it’s very obvious when a woman is being restricted, and other times (like where I live) it’s more subtle, taking the form of lack of access or comments or even our own conditioning telling us that we shouldn’t do something.
Confinement is something I struggle with as a person and in my own artist practice. Even though I’m a full-time artist, it is still hard to set aside a chunk of quiet, uninterupted time to create. Sometimes I have difficulty disregarding the expectations of other people and my own culture so that I can get out of my head and create meaningful art.
I think part of the problem is that our lives and careers as women artists are still not seen as “normal,” even now in these “modern” times. But by talking about this and sharing our experiences, I think we can help each other overcome this challenge.
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Developing and following a creative process is important to the work we do as artists. The process I follow gives structure and support to the work I create.
Being an artist and making art is rarely about creating something simply for the sake of creating. We usually have a message or experience we want to convey through our work. Using a good creative process can help and enhance our efforts.
In my creative work, I’m trying to breach the barrier between two different worlds: the physical world that we “know” and experience with our five senses, and the inner world that we pay less attention to. This inner world is made up of “invisible” magic or spirituality, sensitivity, and emotion.
The creative process I use is made up of phases, which gives structure and support to the work I create. Through the process of gathering ideas, reflecting on and refining them, and then finally acting on those ideas, I am able to create a body of work that makes sense and conveys the message I want to send to my audience.
Resistance isn’t the negative thing we think it is. Here’s how confronting the internal and external resistance you face can be a positive, empowering process.
Every artist is familiar with “resistance” and how it shows up in all sorts of ways, making our dreams and goals seemly impossible to reach. I recently realized that there are two major kinds of resistance: inner resistance, which often shows up as fear, doubt, and confusion – and outer resistance, which can show up as people being upset with you, or as obstacles between you and what you want.
Resistance came up in a very personal way for me when my husband and I decided to take our children and move to California for a month. When I stepped back to confront the objections from everyone around us and my own inner doubts, I realized that these outer and inner forms of resistance are actually very intertwined and connected.
In the process of planning for our trip and overcoming my doubts, I learned how confronting inner resistance can help overcome outside resistance, and how both forms of negative resistance can actually become something very positive and empowering.
This is a big-time important and interesting theme for me. I have been investigating for a long time about this subject because I feel often a pull and a push on the idea of fitting in the society we live in. What I realized is that feeling this way is not very empowering and therefore to position myself in a stronger position where I am not depending on what is going on around me, I need to take a stand and act on it. Therefore, I am raising the questions of changing the society and our role as cultural agents and if we can truly change society if we keep building on what exists in this same society, on what is?
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Today I am exploring what I believe vulnerability brings us and how it is important to welcome it along with fears in our creative process. I think it is at the heart of changing society and bringing positive change to the world.
In this episode, I talk about the void in our daily life as artists and how I believe that this void or blank page has so much meaning and power and how it is so important to confront it and embrace it because ultimately, we want to create our own void to create pieces that we can truly contemplate.
I have two pretty awesome quotes for this episode. The first one is from Deepak Chopra "In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you" and the second from Levi Strauss "If the composer withholds more than we anticipate, we experience a delicious falling sensation; we feel we have been torn from a stable point on the musical ladder and thrust into the void." Food for thoughts!
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After dealing with a huge fire in the parking garage of my studio and home and having to evacuate and not be able to return for a long time, I bring you the insights and symbols of what started a new practice for me.