Today I am going to tell you. But first we need to understand there are 5 recognizable stages in creative development:
Today I am going to describe the recognizable details of the third stage: INTEGRATION (In prior weeks in this blog I have detailed stages 1 and 2.)
The Integration stage is about doing more art. And if you are, it probably is becoming way easier. The reason why this is possible is because you have found ways to “integrate” your art with your life. Once you are creating something truly personal, more like you, it becomes easier for this to occur. It is almost hard not to because, in fact, your life and your art are more and more connected. The prior stages of learning to pay attention and learning to discern what exactly interests you, is key. As a result, you are now even thinking about your art when you fall asleep. In this stage, people are becoming more and more interested in your art or rather, what exactly you find so captivating. The kind of passion you are demonstrating by your now more consistent art practice is hard for outsiders to resist. Everyone becomes curious.
The integration stage is also when you learn to deal better with distractions and procrastination that get in the way of your art practice. One of the key solutions to procrastination has to do with the realization that working even the tiniest amount in a day is far superior to not making art at all. It also happens to be scientifically proven that we actually learn better by a “little and often” rather than an “all in one sitting” approach. Understanding this concept can release you from the defeating idea that in order to be successful in your art you have to work countless hours in a row.
It is, however, crucial that an artist in this stage stays connected to other artists to receive and give feedback so that objectivity can be maintained. Sharing and showing your art is a big part of this stage. It is how you will continue to learn.
The integration stage is almost a resting place for your art practice. Even if you just stay in this stage for years—over time your art will absolutely improve. You have set yourself up to continue learning, your art will change at a relatively fast rate which will keep you engaged. The heavy lifting of breaking into art has been done. You have begun to arrive.
Are you in this stage? Do you recognize some of these signs in your art practice?