The Professional Amateur [Shira Erlichman]
In insecure moments we can remember that amateur comes from the French word meaning “lover of.” To be uncertain is to love is to begin.
Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice says, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” As art-makers our ego and insecurities can often close the door preemptively on our own artistic investigations. We have to actively cultivate the Professional Amateur within—the one who is brave, willing to not know, be unrefined, explore possibilities, and essentially, to trust. With the understanding that creativity itself is a skill that can be honed, we’ll engage in a variety of exercises, aiming for a radical return to a more innocent mode of perception. Shira will share tactics from their own creativity praxis, which spans decades and multiple mediums including writing, songwriting, painting, and illustration.