The Needs of an Artist

Everything we do, we do as an attempt to meet a NEED.

What could those needs be?

Connection
Choice
Play
Well-Being
Meaning

In essence, your Needs equal your Life Force, it’s what you want in your life.

It’s what you want in your Art and Creativity.

When you think of your painting, or music, or words, what is the Need behind your Art?

When your brush hits the canvas, or you strum your strings, what is it you are truly needing?

Could it be:
Communication
Self-expression
Contribution
Discovery

The list is long, and energetic.  We can’t actually grasp “contribution” with our hands, but we can grasp the actions we take to achieve them.

That’s where Strategy comes in.  Strategy is what you do to meet your Need.

So, what the heck am I talking about?

Allow me to introduce you to something that will revolutionize not only your Art, but your Creative Life.

Non-Violent Communication, or NVC.

 

Two weekends ago, I sat in a large studio in midtown Manhattan with 50 other people for a NVC Discovery Weekend.

“NVC shows us a way of being very honest, without any criticism, insults, or put-downs, and without an intellectual diagnosis implying wrongness.”
Creator, Marshall Rosenberg

No insults, put-downs, or wrongness….oh wow, I know those!

The irony of the location of the workshop was not lost on me.  I was actually sitting in a studio I had auditioned in many times.

When I took a bathroom break, I walked by a room that was being set up with a clipboard outside that read,

Les Miserable Tour

Many memories returned, of standing here in this same hallway with my audition book, wearing my best outfits, hair and makeup done just right….all to walk into the room to dance or sing my guts out.

And for the first time, I had a new question for myself,
What were MY needs?

Or the even better question,
Were my needs being MET in my audition process?

The answer that returned, was a big NO.

Are YOUR needs being met in your Creative Process?

To walk down these hallways as a coach instead of a performer was slightly odd, and yet, incredible.  As I saw singers arrive for their auditions, I felt like I actually understood them better.

I felt like I actually understood MYSELF better, the past “me”  standing outside the audition room with my heart in my throat.

I definitely had strategies to meet those needs for my auditions, but I wasn’t fully aware WHAT my needs were.

I was shooting in the dark, and judging myself in the process. If I couldn’t relax and ground before going in to sing, I just decided something was wrong with me.  And while there were so many auditions I felt like I nailed and did fantastic, those really big “make it or break it” moments seemed so out of my control.  I would feel the pressure, and go out of my body, not singing or dancing at the level I was capable of.

Sound familiar?
Do you feel like you are banging your head against the wall in your Art right now and not seeing the results you want?

Here’s a lifeline:
There are 10,000 ways to meet a need once it’s been identified. And the way to identify your Need is through something we Creatives have easier access to than others….our Feelings.

The process breaks down like this:
1) Observation: take a pause for a second, coming out of self judgement and actually observe what is going on for you in the moment
2) Feeling: Identify what you are actually feeling.  This could be anxious, overwhelmed, frustrated, or hopeless
3) Need: Identify the Need that is not being met
4) Request: Make a request of yourself or another to meet this need

 

A body in judgement feels very different than a body in connection.

A body in connection…YOUR body in connection is going to produce Art that resonates, collaborations that thrive, and an audience that returns again and again.

So, why wouldn’t you want to know what your needs are?

There has been a negative connotation around Needs, especially around the Arts.  Nobody likes to hear, “you are SO needy!”  Or we can attach a judgement on our needs that by having them we are actually weak.

But, I’m offering a new way to look at this.  If your Needs are actually the impulses of life, we are then connecting with what we are honestly longing for.

Imagine creating your Art from there.
Imagine how inspiring THAT energy will be for your audience.

Let me ask you, do you want to be the author of your life?

Take a look today at your Creative Process, the work you are putting out to the world, and ask,
Does this meet my Needs?

If not, look at your dissatisfactions and make decisions based on your Needs, based on your life energy. Imagine making decisions and implementing strategies that are non-harming to you, and free of judgement. No more beating yourself up!

Doesn’t that feel better?

We have enough challenges as Creatives in these turbulent times. Imagine a way to increase your ability to live with choice, meaning, and connection.

Isn’t that why you became an Artist in the first place?

So, consider this an introduction.

And, to help you in the process, here is the free NVC official Needs List: CLICK HERE

I have this sheet with me at all times, and it has been a lifesaver for me AND my clients.

Try it…next time you are feeling frustrated in your Art.  Grab the Needs sheet, identify what isn’t being met, and connect with a new strategy.

You may be surprised at what you find, and what you create.

Connection
Choice
Play
Well-Being
Meaning

Be curious.  In curiosity, you may actually get what you want.

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