• Luke Renner

5 TIPS TO BE A BETTER ARTIST - TIP 3 OF 5

In this 5-part series (released over five weeks) I will be sharing what I believe are some of the most important qualities in being an effective artist. I will then invite you to participate in an exercise related to each post and offer you some thoughtful questions (and maybe even some resources) to help you on your way. Let's get started!

TIP 3 - BE VULNERABLE

Author Christopher L. Heuertz once wrote, “If we can’t self-observe, then we can’t self-correct.” Once again, a simple idea with profound implications.


So much of art is born of the way that we respond (or don’t) to experience. As such, healing is sometimes public-facing, via our art. When that happens, I believe that vulnerability can transport art to a place that is impossible to really attain without it.

So much of art is born of the way that we respond (or don’t) to experience. As such, healing is sometimes public-facing, via our art. When that happens, I believe that vulnerability can transport art to a place that is impossible to really attain without it.


Vulnerability is connected to honesty, but they aren’t quite the same thing.

Vulnerability, for me, is the "personalization of honesty.” It’s being honest… but as much about your own imperfections, hangups, and questions as you are about anyone else. Maybe even more so.

With vulnerability, you enter into a state of willful exposure to what could be a cold and unsympathetic audience, out of a commitment to be real. And why would you do that? Because the world is desperate need of vulnerability, that’s why. People are hungry for real examples of authenticity. And who couldn’t use a little extra light on the pathway home?


A WORD OF CAUTION: One of the landmark qualities of vulnerability is its organic nature. But as Jordan Harbinger points out in his post on vulnerability, not all attempts at vulnerability are natural. Sometimes, in an effort to rope our friends and colleagues into participating in our super-enlightened state, we attempt to force vulnerability instead of experiencing it out of the free-flow of our own heart. This can result in a feeling that is quite the opposite of healthy vulnerability. 


It’s important that vulnerability flows from a willing place within. Forced vulnerability isn’t.

EXERCISE: OPENING UP

For this exercise, identify someone whom you trust implicitly and then ask them if you can practice being vulnerable with them. In exchange, see if they will reciprocate with some of their own vulnerability. When each of you does this, be sure to offer affirmation, love, or support in response.


GOAL:

The idea of this exercise is to practice vulnerability for the purpose of getting a little more comfortable being uncomfortable (at least occasionally). In so doing, be sure to feel your way around the boundaries of what is possible. 


WARNING:

DO NOT mistake vulnerability for some kind of all-access pass into your private affairs. You must only ever do what is safe for you. I have lots to say about this (another day) but, essentially, it’s equally important to maintain and protect things that are sacred in your life. As such, vulnerability is not about spilling all your big secrets or getting yourself into trouble. It’s more about making sure that whatever you do eventually choose to say has got as much of your humanity in it as possible.



QUESTIONS:


1 - What did you learn while practicing vulnerability? Was it easier than you expected? More difficult?


2 - Did the process surprise you or catch you off guard in any way? If so, how was if different from what you expected?


3 - What are some ways that you can apply vulnerability to your art? What might that look like?





RELEVANT RESOURCES:

DARING GREATLY

I actually suggested this book in my first post from this series. That's because it's good, especially when it comes to vulnerability. To take a look, click here or on the book above.




BRENÉ BROWN - TED Talk

Not convinced about the book? Take a look at Brené's TED talk.

SHARING:

Do you have any other suggestions for exercises, questions, or resources? If so, please share in the comments!


And here are the links to the other parts of this series (as they become available):

TIP 1: https://www.lukerenner.com/post/5-tips-to-be-a-better-artist-tip-1-of-5

TIP 2: https://www.lukerenner.com/post/5-tips-to-be-a-better-artist-tip-2-of-5

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