International Women’s Day
Cajoling the Muse
with Creative Practice!
“We Come Together From Many Lands” painting by Musea Member Sumaiyah Wysdom Yates
“I am a woman /
Phenomenal woman /
~ Maya Angelou
This week’s zine focuses on our celebration and honoring of International Women’s Day and our Intentional Creativity approach of #healingthebias! We acknowledge that healing the biases that exist about women can come in many forms, and one of our chosen mediums for this is through emergent storytelling and the conscious re-imagining of the feminine through art. We also explore the concept of the MUSE and its important place in our Intentional Creativity framework and individual creative lives. Enjoy this goodness!
Use the jumplinks below 👇🏽 to Choose Your Own Adventure
Today, our MUSEA Collective is celebrating International Women’s Day together! Our community was formed by women who put great intention into the building of a sanctuary space for women in which they could create, connect, share and be witnessed, and where many could begin to #breakthebias and #healthebias around being a woman in this world!
As a community, we stand for women and our desire is for them to have the experience of equity, dignity, economic access, political power, self-determination, and self-expression. We believe that healing the biases that exist about women can come in many forms, and one of our chosen mediums for this is through emergent storytelling and the conscious re-imagining of the feminine through art. When we access new stories about who we are as women, and share what we have discovered, arrived at, reclaimed, and stepped into within ourselves, this has a ripple effect that reaches out to so many other women, and all people who encounter such potent and powerful art-based re-storying.
Today, Curator Shiloh Sophia and Guild members, Amber Samaya Gould and Milagros Suriano-Rivera hosted a LIVE #CreativeConversation Circle over Zoom to celebrate the dignity, power, intelligence, tenderness, creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, generosity of spirit, gentleness, fierceness, emotional intelligence and beautiful complexity of women across the globe. We gathered in circle to acknowledge International Women’s Day and the official mandate to #breakthebias. We also offered an invitation to take this mandate a step further with a focus on #healingthebias – choosing to make mending stitches in the frayed fabric of women’s place in the world through images and mythic storytelling that speaks to women being whole, experiencing equity, justice, safety, and the ability to live lives of dignity and fullness… lives where their beautiful dreams can become realities… lives where dreams, in and of themselves, are possible.
You can watch the replay of this live event below 👇🏾
Healing is our focus in the Intentional Creativity community. Those crossed arms you see in the photo at the top of this article is the crossed arm #breakthebias pose requested by the International Women’s Day official page. With this memetic action they are asking every woman to represent the #breakthebias ethos. We are also seeing it as a mending cross-stitch, something that comes in to heal and repair. We invite you all to strike a pose for healing today. To see yourself as a mending stitch. To continue to tell the stories of women that you want the world to hear, and paint the images of women that you want the world to see! We stand with you! We are here to #healthebias together!
In the spirit of celebration of women,
~ The Musea CoCurators
“Healing the Collective Heart”, by Musea Member Elizabeth Fritz Sinha
Cajoling the Muse with Creative Practice
by Jessica Richmond, Musea CoCurator
“The Muse of Painting”, painting by Paolo Veronese 1528-1588
Dear Musea Members and Guest Readers,
For centuries, many references have been made throughout art and literature to the artist’s and writer’s “Muse” which usually entailed a person or concept that inspired a particular art piece or book. However, Shiloh Sophia teaches that…
‘the Muse is a metaphor for a new way of thinking and being; an internal construct that can show us more than we have ever seen about the inner workings of the soul voice and how we can express it in our lives.’
One of the many wonderful aspects of Intentional Creativity is learning how to tune in and listen to this voice. March’s membership journey is focused on our relationship to Creativity, so we feel its important to bring up the “Muse” as part of this exploration. We like to talk about “our Muses” at Musea, and even have several complimentary workshops focused on finding your Muse through drawing and painting. Within the Color of Woman Intentional Creativity teacher training, there’s an entire module dedicated to the Muse where each student is led on a journey through a painting experience to connect with her inner Muse.
Our Muses vary in appearance, style, personality, and temperament from each other just as much as we can differ from one another as women. Also, many students find that their muses may differ significantly from themselves as well as with degrees of flexibility in relation to co-creating with them. Some can be far more “difficult” to work with than others. Mine happens to be one of them. For those of you with particularly stubborn muses, I know you can relate.
For the longest time, when I tried to illicit, cajole, and plead for help from my Muse, she would yawn exaggeratedly then just stare at me, knowing I would have a meltdown which usually entailed descending into more unsuccessful begging.
It took a long time to realize she had a secret recipe for unlocking her assistance. As it turns out, she requires a consistent effort to keep her attention or she becomes easily bored of me. She is a proud self-identified Diva who would take all of my time and attention if she could. She’s just plain demanding and abhors being put on the back burner. I finally learned that if I wanted her help, I needed to figure out the secret ingredients which, after much resistance, I did. They primarily consisted of making commitments to time, nurturing, and honoring of her. This meant figuring out a way to develop a consistent creativity practice and realizing that having the energy to keep up with her meant that taking good care of myself would be essential. Interestingly enough, I also found that, in her mind, this should be no big deal. She wasn’t at all understanding when I tried to explain to her that I get caught up with so many other things in my life. Taking care of my kids, my marriage, my house, my friendships; the list is endless as it is for most women.
Dream of the Poet, Kiss of the Muse painting by Cezanne
Society has entrained us as women to take care of everyone and everything else first even if it means sacrificing basic self-care like getting enough sleep, hydration, exercise, and free time. And then there is the inner critic. The voice constantly reminding us when we do try to nurture ourselves that we “should” be doing something more productive or more pragmatic or more helpful for others. The one that says if we happen to have extra time on our hands, we should be using it to plug away at those to-do lists. The same one trying to convince us that if we are going to spend time doing anything creative, it should have a functional purpose or a plan for making money. However, our Muses love nothing more than living in creativity every minute of the day. They need no convincing whatsoever because their entire existence is predicated on the belief that life is a giant wonderland meant to delight our senses, a beautiful canvas on which you can create whatever you want.
They also seem to be immune to the many resistances to creativity that we often encounter. In the book, The Big Leap, Gaye Hendricks breaks down a list of the general types of creative resistances and offers suggestions on coping with them. (highly recommended book for identifying your personal creativity blocks.) However, the best piece of encouragement I’ve ever gotten in terms of getting to the root of my personal creative barriers is that, “creativity is not an indulgence, but a birthright,” as taught by Shiloh Sophia. Our Muses seem to live easily by this ethos, as if its as natural as breathing for them. They also seem to understand that in order for most of us mortal humans to develop a consistently connected relationship to our creativity, we must first accept that we deserve it. We deserve to make time for a consistent creativity practice and we deserve to take just as good of care of ourselves as we do everyone else. Our Muses also know that, unlike them, we must work at it. We must work at accepting the simple fact that we are born to create. And that acceptance can only come with a willingness to invest in ourselves, which requires a belief that we deserve this investment. We deserve to create whatever we want to, not because it’s an indulgence but because we are worth it. We get to make whatever we want to, regardless of whether or not anyone else likes it or if it ever produces a dime of income, or if it becomes something to offer someone else, but for no other reason than because we want to.
I’ve learned that lesson the hard way after many years, decades, of putting my creativity last if it even made the list at all. When I did finally choose to make it more of a priority, it still took me quite some time to realize that my Muse wasn’t going to offer up information whenever I wanted her to. She wasn’t just sitting around waiting to be at my beck and call for my sporadic interactions with her. She wanted me to work for it by using those secret ingredients; developing a consistent dedicated creativity practice, learning patience with the process, self-care, willingness to play, and most of all learning to truly accept that I get to create just because I want to. She wants me to remember that if I’m making requests of her, she has some of her own and she will refuse to help until they are met.
Throughout March, the Zine team invites you to find a way to connect with your Muse. Maybe through this month’s lovely Art Action – learning to make Mandalas with paint dots as taught by Guild Member Sumaiyah Wysdom yates, available in the All Member Portal. Or perhaps taking a complimentary workshop, or through simply having a journaling conversation and asking your Muse to speak!
In closing, I’ve learned the more I comply with my Muses’s demands of me, the more she’s willing to support my creative process. She still makes quite a show of letting me know just how boring she thinks I am in comparison to her resplendent Divaness, but overall she tends to be more cooperative now. Still tricky to work with, but quicker to provide her inspirations and information. And there have even been a few times, when she didn’t know I was looking, that I’ve caught her smiling approvingly at my paintings.
“Born This Way”, painting by Shiloh Sophia
Monthly Relationship Inquiry
Here is Monthly Membership Journal Relationship Exploration Card on the topic of CREATIVITY. This is available on the All Members Portal for download and print for your watercolor journals along with an incredible video demonstration of a dot mandala Intentional Creativity Process by Guild Member, Sumaiyah Wysdom Yates. We invite you to share your exploration with us on the iMusea app, using #membermusings and #creativity for witness and celebration!
Not a member and want to enjoy this creative mandala experience?
Join our membership journey today for instant access! https://musea.org/membership
Visit our Guild-Led Event Calendar below for a list of upcoming Intentional Creativity events you may enjoy!
What’s On at the Museum!
RITUAL : REVEALING THE HIDDEN SELF
March 16 at 4 pm PT!
Musea Intentional Creativity Museum invites you to join us for the Ritual – Revealing the Hidden Self Museum Show and Group Exhibition Opening. This exhibit features exquisite painted imaged created by students of the Ritual yearlong painting class, guided by Shiloh Sophia, over 13 moons in 2021.
Ritual is MUSEA’s 2021 Intentional Creativity Course in Medicine Painting and Mythic Journaling dedicated to healing through calling the whole soul out of exile. This class focused specifically on the ways art-making can guide us towards mending our relationships with ourselves, our body, our community, our family, our lover/s, and our environment. And very specifically, how we organize our lifeways.
We encourage you to claim your Eventbrite Ticket for the Museum show today and invite your friends and family along for a date at the museum!
Submit your artwork to the Mother Tree Open Art Call by April 1!
Claim your Complimentary Ticket to the Mother Tree Museum Show this April 20!
MUSEA Intentional Creativity Museum is welcoming multimedia art submissions for the Mother Tree Global Call for art in Collaboration with TreeSisters International!
This is a open call to women everywhere who desire to be a creative voice for the trees, and have your earth-based artwork featured in a global Virtual Museum Exhibition. This art call is a collaborative creative project with TreeSisters International inviting women to tell the story of their love and advocacy of our global forests. Through this art call, we are co-creating an investment in global reforestation efforts with 50% of proceeds from entry fees directed to TreeSisters Reforestation Projects and a goal of planting 90,000 trees!
Submissions are open now through April 1, 2022. Artwork will be juried and curated into a Virtual Exhibition with LIVE Online Museum Show and Exhibit Opening April 20, 2022.
The Mother Tree Museum Show and Exhibit Opening will feature curated artwork from the Mother Tree Global Call for art, weaving together a powerful visual story of women’s love and advocacy of our global forests through multimedia art.
This Museum Show and Opening for the Mother Tree Exhibit will take place LIVE online on April 20, 2022, in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. The show will be hosted by MUSEA Curator, Shiloh Sophia, Mother Tree Art Call Jurors, and special guest TreeSister Artist Liaison, Kathleen Brigidina, who will share about TreeSister’s women-led global reforestation work and how artists are involved!
At the show we will share the Mother Tree Exhibit Presentation – a celebration of the artwork and the co-creation of global reforestation, as well as an honoring of the Earth and the Mother Trees that keep our forests alive.
This show is open to the public and will also serve as a fundraiser for TreeSisters, with donation options included as a part of the ticketing process.
If you do not plan to submit to the art call and would like a way to support our goal of raising $5000 to plant over 90,000 trees, you can donate for your ticket. There are $10, $20, $50, and personalized donation options via the Eventbrite Ticket page!
All of our Museum Shows are Complimentary and open to the public! We encourage you to invite your friends and family to the show. Simply copy and share this link on your Social Media, email or text! https://imusea.org/attend-an-event/
CURIOUS ABOUT MEMBERSHIP?
Become a Member today of one of the world’s largest and most well established Art Movements – MUSEA : Intentional Creativity!
“Gather with us. Be a part of our movement. While we can’t yet be together in person, we don’t need to be isolated from one another. Every place a MUSEA Member is, a MUSEA IS, so we are all over the world! Being a member is something to feel good about and connected to as a part of each of our individual stories, as well as our collective story.”