Thriving Creatively 002 - Steve Willis - Light Wizard
In this blog interview series I am interviewing inspiring artists about their journeys.
Through asking real artists real questions, I am aiming to create an inspirational and varied online portal for artists - both starting out and established.
I feel called to help artists move out of the Poor Artist Archetype, and part of this includes broadcasting the perspectives of creatives who are thriving in their field.
Today I am joined by Steve Willis, aka Light Wizard!
Walk me through a typical day in your art practise.
My days are quite varied due to the assorted nature of my work but I usually start in my office behind the computer. I use digital mind mapping to organize and structure my life. I am a very visual person so I find this technique to be the most efficient way for me to see my goals and actualize the steps that are going to get me to my targets. Mind mapping allows me to record and catalogue my thought patterns while simultaneously outlining a clear pathway to get projects done.
My process requires inanimate objects so I am always on the hunt for new treasures. I collect hard rubbish, browse op shops, and visit garage sales. My eyes are always open and in search of new and interesting pieces to add to my collection. I have a workshop where I organize and store all of my findings and this is where I start building my projects before they come into the studio.
I am always playing and finding relationships that exist between unrelated objects and exploring unique vantage points. I study texture, shape, color, repetition, form, pattern, and how light interacts with each piece. My process is very hands on in the early stages and requires lots of assembling and disassembling along with painting, trimming, cutting, or altering objects to fit the situation. It is trial and error at its best; moving, grooving, flowing… and allowing myself to be guided in the right direction. It is a practice in patience, trust, and letting go.
How do you thrive financially?
Making money was the easy part. The hard part was believing that I was worthy of it.
I got rid of any limiting beliefs that I had about money, or what it means to be an artist. The starving artist routine is old news; it is a blockage, and I no longer allow someone else’s constrained perceptions to weigh me down.
I am on a mission to uplift and influence as many people as I can with my work; so being financially capable is an integral piece in that puzzle. Anything that doesn’t serve me is preventing me from serving the world around me so I am extremely mindful of my thought patterns and the stories I tell myself.
When trying to achieve anything, it is so important to have a plan of action. You can be the best pilot in the world, but without some sort of direction you are never going to arrive at your destination. Clarity is power. Where are you going? What is the ultimate result? The activities on the way will always change but what is the vision?
If you want your life to change, then you need to change. If you want your life to get better, then you need to get better. If you are constantly improving who you are and what you offer… then you will always be multiplying your value.
How do you connect the realms of sexuality and art creation?
The vision required of the artist is rooted (pun intended ;-) in passion and an insatiable desire to create. Passion can be felt so strongly it is sometimes uncontrollable. Sex and art creation can be the most powerful, and deeply compelling experiences we can have as humans. Artistic expression and lust overflow with feelings of ecstasy; they are different forms of the same yearning, that same desire for delight and fulfillment. This urge consumes us, it inflames us, it ignites us…. and even when quenched we will always thirst for more.
How do you price your work?
Differently in different situations. It is dependent on venue, buyer, costs, hours, materials, convenience, stock, situation, medium, my mood, and other variables. I don’t tie myself down to doing things one way... one of the reasons I am an artist is for the sense of freedom it provides so I can be flexible but I always make sure to respect myself and honor the work. One of the hardest things to learn as an artist is how to value yourself and your energy. I am a creative person and I have created several revenue streams that all tie in to my passion for art so I fluctuate dependent on what is flowing and how I am feeling.
Do you encounter self sabotage?
No, not so much anymore… but I have gone through over a decade of procrastination, self-medication, comfort eating, being paralyzed by fear, and anxiety of being seen or heard.
I have worked through lots of this inner turmoil and released lots of baggage so I don’t experience self sabotage as much as I used to, although this does require me to be extremely diligent of my actions and the consequences therein.
If so, how do you move through it?
I have a fascination with death; I understand that my life is fleeting and temporary, so to do anything other than act on my dreams is absolute insanity. I don’t have time to let anything slow me down, fear is an illusion created in my imagination, and I use fear as potential for growth. To allow anything to hold me back, bring me down, or influence me in a negative way is nonsensical and in direct opposition to my inner calling to do great work. I am on a mission of self mastery and my drive for personal fulfillment is greater than any addiction could possibly be. I live my purpose; blaze my truth, and set goals that are in alignment with my highest values.
What is your relationship with Inspiration?
I give it and I receive it. I am constantly inspired by other people and the world around me; the creations, the courage, the characters, and nature in all its glory. There is actually so much to be inspired by in this mystery of a lifetime we find ourselves in. There are so many amazing people doing extraordinary things, and the magnificence of our natural world never ceases to amaze. I pay particularly close attention to anything that uplifts me and tingles my curiosity, whether it is a grandiose human achievement or a simple butterfly dancing in the wind. There is much to discover about ourselves in that which inspires us. It seems only right that I live an inspired life brimming with possibility… and that I do my best to inspire others along their way.
Do you have any rituals that you feel to share?
As I open my eyes I take a minute to think of what I am grateful for in my life. This puts me in an abundant and fulfilled state that allows me to step into my day with appreciation and a sense of purpose. I usually wake before the sun rises because I know that every human being has 24 hours in a day, and it is what you do with it that makes all the difference.
I strap on my shoes and head to the gym to wake up my body and exercise my mind. I greet the sun with sweat because overcoming mental barriers and pushing through physical hurdles at first light sets the tone for my day. It builds discipline; it familiarizes me with discomfort, and sharpens my determination.
I am extremely driven and I try to work all day, everyday, as often as I can. As such, I meditate in saunas regularly for that much needed break to my day. As soon as I enter, I instantly shift from locomotive to stillness. It is an imperative practice I have adopted to balance myself out, and its very effective in quieting my mind, and returning me to my center.