Consider Everything an Experiment

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Artist Corita Kent's Rules for being an artist

In the off chance that you may have never stumbled upon Sister Corita Kent's rules, I thought I would post a photograph I took of them in 2011.

Sister Corita created them for the art department of The Immaculate Heart College in 1967, and they are a solid set of suggestions to try and live by.

The now defunct Museum of Craft and Folk Art of San Francisco organized an incredible show of Sister Corita's work and life in 2011, E is for Everyone: Celebrating Life and Influence (1918-1986). Do you know those shows that stick with you forever and you thank your lucky stars you had the opportunity to see the work? Because it moved you in a way you needed to be moved, and it slightly jarred your existence in a way that was so necessary, yet you had no idea? That was this kind of show for me. I have been fortunate to see many, many shows but only a handful continue to resonate with me. These rules have stuck with me since then, and I pull them out every now and then.

What I love most about Kent's rules are the impassioned pleas to stay curious, tenacious, and always assume the best. They're always good reminders when you're feeling a little off kilter.

Sister Corita's Rules to live by

As I write this it's the dead of the summer, and we've reached those dog days. Long. Hot. Slow. Not much happening. And good God is it hot. I have no motivation or drive to do anything. Which is very unlike me, and something I'm not comfortable with, to be honest. But that's life. Sometimes there's the slog. And with the slog comes wading through it. I know this malaise will pass, and it's important to trudge through these periods and not throw the baby out with the bath water as it were. In the past I've erroneously taken these feelings of boredom as a sign that I need to make big changes in my life.

Nope. Not today.

Rule 1. Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.

So today, I'm focusing on these rules, enjoying the heat (because come February I'll be crying for it), accepting that being bored is totally OK. And as I continue to work, I'll remind myself:

Rule 6. Nothing is a mistake. There's no win, and there's no fail. There's only make.

As well as:

Rule 7. The only rule is work.

Rule 9. Be happy when ever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.

What are you focusing on this summer that's keeping you on track? Have Sister Corita's Rules helped you in the past? Which of them resonate with you?