That’s the fantasy held by so many who live into the intense and often jagged lines that define the creative life.
Thing is, much as we might day-dream about a path less-challenged, it’s those very jags, the way we move through them and what they teach us that both nourish our growth as people and creators and make what we end up creating that much more compelling.
This is what we’re talking about in today’s conversation with renowned curator, historian and author, Sarah Lewis. Sarah currently sits on the faculty of the Yale School of Art as a critic in both the Photography and Painting/Printmaking Departments. She has served on President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy Committee and was selected for Oprah’s 2010 “Power List.” She is also an active curator, having held positions at both the Tate Modern and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
What I love about Sarah, too, is her deep interest in the immensely personal experience of striving to create a world-class body of work. To become a master. She’s written extensively about this in her beautifully-crafted and meticulously-researched new book, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery.
Two thoughts shared by Sarah during our wide-ranging conversation that really resonated:
“Success is a mark that we’ve hit that lets the world around us state that we’ve made it, but mastery is a much more internal judgment that often times is never met with satisfaction until the very end of one’s life. It’s a journey and success is often an event.”
“When you tense up in life, you lose access to the inner resources that you actually need to discern what’s in front of you, what is in your grasp.”
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