S1 E6: LIZ MILLER - FINE ARTIST
Liz Miller is a sculptor, ceramist, performance artist, dancer, student, teacher, and potentially a motivational speaker based on what we learned in this episode.
What we wanted to get (and give) out of this podcast in general was insight…actionable thoughts, ideas, and tools that people can use to become better at something they aspire to do (or already do). Liz delivers exactly that in this episode.
Our conversation spans topics that give you an idea of the mindset that shapes Liz’s distinct art: spirituality, rebellion, education, activism, race, criticism, music, doubt, and belief. That’s not even half the list.
Liz’s path has taken many turns already, and to listen to her talk about her life is to wonder how she has the time to accomplish all of the things she is accomplishing. She is truly hungry in a way that obviously challenges not only her own goals but also the goals of those she interacts with day to day.
Here are Three Big How’s from an artist who expresses her own voice and ideas in a way that will certainly influence the way you express yours:
THREE BIG HOW’S
TURN OFF SELF-DOUBT
To paraphrase Liz, at some point we all have zero knowledge. That can’t stop us or paralyze us. To the contrary, it should empower us. The most celebrated artists in history started at exactly the same point that YOU are. Be curious and confident, and leave the doubt behind.
READ THE ARTIST’S WAY
Liz said that she was heavily influenced by The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She learned things that challenged her thought process and helped guide her creative process. This book has been cited by a vast array of artists in the past, from painters to writers to film directors, as a source for new thought and actionable exercises that expand your own possibilities.
ALLOW YOURSELF TO CREATE
Don’t edit yourself too quickly. Many creative people are their own worst critics, which sometimes results in the early rejection of what could ultimately be a promising idea. Liz says to try hard not to limit “a valid vein of investigation” during your own process. Give the idea some love, care, and thought…and allow yourself to create.
Like most of our guests, Liz had more than three tips for other artists. So I’ll just break the rule of three above and list a fourth here: Stop Expectations. This one is very representative of Liz’s nurturing attitude but also the seriousness with which she cares for her craft. Eliminating expectations of what a work is ultimately going to be will free your path to finishing a project, and it will also help you avoid judging yourself.
We learned so much from Liz that we sometimes found ourselves pondering what she’d just said instead of moving on in the conversation. Fortunately, Sean’s editing skills take away those pensive pauses. We hope you find this episode as enlightening as we did.