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Developing Distractions

the artist's journey Oct 16, 2023

Distraction: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

My life has been abundant with distractions.  Until recently, I viewed my tendency to dash down rabbit holes seeking answers to questions that pop into my head sparked by a distraction, as a habit that stood in my way of following the path I should be following in order to fulfill my dreams and reach my goals.  Throughout 2023 I forced myself to say no to a multitude of distractions and to follow a system of organized daily behaviour that moved me forward more successfully.  I was amazed at how much I accomplished.  I was also amazed at how unfulfilling those accomplishments were compared to the joy and excitement I experience when chasing questions down rabbit holes and expressing the bind journey with pen and brush.

As a result, I'm searching for a compromise between the two extremes: being consistently distracted and searching for answers that don't appear to be relevant to my life; wearing blinders to all but a few special distractions, a rationing of distractions similar to a rationing of dark chocolate. The main problem is that I love feeling of curiosity and the hunt for answers.  The moments in my life that stand out most brightly are those that began with being distracted ... becoming curious ... the curiosity planting a seed and my pondering nurturing that seed until it sprouted and became something else, rooting itself inside of me and becoming part of me.  Not all seeds sprouted.  Not all seeds grew strong roots.  Those that did gained relevance in my life and became a part of the lens through which I view the world.

What sort of distractions am I referring to?  The kind of distractions that make me stop and snap a photo on my phone; the kind that if I don't stop I find myself walking a block or so and turning around to return to and snap the photo I forced myself not to take when I was distracted in the first place. Its not such a bother when I'm walking alone but it is extremely annoying to a companion with whom I might be walking. (Another reason I travel alone most of the time.) The distractions, if they are purely visual, are often particular patterns, textures or arrangement of shapes.  I am rarely distracted by what the thing IS.  I am distracted by the visual impact created by something ... regardless of what that something might be:

I have hundreds of photos that I've taken that I could have developed further into a visual interpretation of the inspiration.  I rarely did ... I just kept collecting more and more inspirations, like a sponge soaking up a tidal wave.

I have set myself a new task, a new goal, combining it with another way that I can share my curiosity and my experience with you, my reader, and with those of you who are members of The Artist's Journey community.  I am adding another weekly, live event for members of the community.  This one will not be at a specific scheduled time.  As a member, you will receive a notification when I am LIVE and you may join me to watch and ask questions ... or simply to watch.  As always, the sessions will be recorded and you can watch the recorded sessions whenever you like.  If you're not already a member, you can join at any time.  You can also stop being a member at any time and rejoin whenever you want. Link to join The Artist's Journey Community.  

What will be the focus of the new live event?  Each week, I will take one of the photographs I've posted in this blog and take it further in one way or another to create a unique piece of artwork inspired by that photograph.

I'm looking forward to this new project!  the first live event will occur sometime within the next five days.  I hope you come along for the journey.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Chris Carter







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