Workshop Mania: A Woman’s Long Hauler Side Effect of the Pandemic

At this time in my life, I am a connoisseur of advice.  I’m after that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  And the pot of gold is hidden where?  As every artist knows, it’s hidden inside ME.  But, ME is a labyrinth, an endless maze at the center of which is a treasure, an ark, a promised land of creativity. Deep down, I know there is no preset formula that grants you access and yet I insist on enlisting the advice of others to help me map the way to my own hidden treasure.  The logic is at odds with itself.  I want someone, who is not me, to lead me to me.  

Still, I of course stumble upon golden nuggets embedded in the guidance of others.  One of my golden rules is: “If you hear the same advice from two unrelated parties, pay attention.”  This morning the advice I remembered, then quickly forgot, then remembered again, is what I hear all too often: “Whatever you do, Elise, don’t sign up for any more workshops!”

In this lonely pandemic, I have found a fourth dimension in the parallel universe: Zoom workshops. In addition to my weekly schedule of Vocal Training,  Music Theory & Piano Lessons, I spent Fall 2020 & Winter 2021 (less than 6 months!) taking classes in Bookbinding, Ephemera, Embroidery, Box Making, Topographies, Trace Monotypes, Portfolio Reviews, Energy Healing, Music Production with Ryan Tedder,  Songwriting with Louise Goffin, Screen Printing, Portrait Sketching, Painting, Encaustics & my most recent obsession: David Snyder’s lectures on Influence Training.

Congenial in nature, I love to heed the advice of my mentors. And to be fair, mastering new mediums & techniques is another pathway on the road to access ME.  It’s another language in which to think. Yet my brain is so full with all these workshops, I’m finding it difficult to think at all. 

Deep down a part of me realizes that all this advice seeking, as well as this thirst for learning – yes it’s all well and good – but I wonder if it smacks of avoidance. Hint: it does.  As taxing as Workshop Mania can be, I believe it has been easier to urgently pursue my unlimited curiosity than it would be to just sit with my existing skills and get down to work!

Dearest readers, I ask your counsel, or just if you’d like to share what you go through in your creative process in the comments below. I love discussions and I’d truly love to hear what you have to say. 

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