Learnings from my Artist Residency

There are so many things I learned about myself, my art, humanity and life in general, while I was at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts in Wyoming but I decided to highlight the most important takeaways I had from this experience. Some of it may sound cheesy, but what I'm sharing is genuine. I hope it's helpful!

*Disclaimer: I'm no wordsmith so please excuse any typos, grammatical errors, etc.

 

Kindness.

It's real and still exists. I experienced kindness and consideration every moment, every day. It humbled me and made me remember that this exists in everyone. It's up to us to decide whether or not we want to exercise the good we have inside, unconditionally. We have nothing to lose by being kind with every step, right?

Human Connection.

Eight strangers from wildly different backgrounds came together to create art but also to spend a month together – in complete isolation. We bonded like glue from day one. We opened up, shared our stories, broke bread over lunch and dinner every single day we were there. Our dinners always lasted two hours (or more). It was the most fulfilling part of my day because we all regarded each other as equals, shared ourselves and opened up our hearts. I went into the residency solo and left with a family. It was the most inspiring experience to be graced by these talented, supportive and loving folks. Simply amazing.

Solitude.

I've known that alone time grants us clarity, but it wasn't until the residency that I really understood what the full power of uninterrupted focussed time (while doing what you love) could bring forth. I learned new things about myself, my work, my voice and gained a new refined clarity like never before. We gain strength from taking a moment for ourselves, to breathe, think and collect our thoughts. I believe it's an essential process for us to experience (often) to grow exponentially as an artist and as individuals.

Self Love.

I think we are all aware that we need to love ourselves, to truly manifest into our purest selves. Although I've been aware of this, I don't think I've ever experienced self-love like I did while I was on my residency. I distinctly remember that I had to remind myself to remove self doubt so that I could let go and just be me. Whoever “me” was. Eventually I did let go, and in those moments I experienced “lightness”. The lightness that came from purity, which then allowed me to paint instinctively. My stokes were confident, unafraid, naturally responding and adapting to every mark I made. In those moments, I experienced feeling like my body was a medium for something much larger than myself. It wasn't a conscious decision, it just happened and I was flowing. My consciousness and body became one...and was moving to the beat of it's own drum. 

 

Haena Kang