Friday, August 12, 2011

10 questions for artists


The following is a list of questions that I've drafted for the arts conference this weekend. I trust that the artists will have a chance to make something of them during small group discussions. I offer them here in the hope that they might prove helpful to other artists too, wherever they might gather. The intent of the questions is to provoke thought and to uncover deeper desires and concerns.

For what it's worth, I think a good facilitator would be helpful to negotiate the discussion as it unfolds (in, as the case may be, unpredictable ways).

Questions For Artists:

1. Who are one or two people who have been most significant to you in your development as an artist?

2. How would you describe the role that your family (of origin or presently) has played in your development as an artist?

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you gauge your level of ambition as an artist?

4. What are one or two factors that, when they’re in place, enable you to really flourish artistically?

5. What are one or two factors that make it more difficult for you to flourish?

6. What are one or two primary areas of fear for you as an artist?

7. Ideally speaking, with reference to your life and work as an artist, where would you like to be in five years?

8. In what one or two things would you like to grow stronger in your relationship with God at the moment?

9. As you think of the factors that would enable you to flourish as an artist, rate the following list on a scale of 1 to 10: from most desirous to least desirous. (And you can’t put two in a tie; you have to rate them in order of priority. The idea is that, in forcing you to choose an order of priority, you'll discover what you really care about right now.) Then share with the group the reasons for your particular order.

1) Money.
2) Training/education.
3) Talent.
4) Mentors.
5) The right city to live in.
6) A small group of peer artists (to help you refine your work and push you to excel)
7) A small community of supportive friends.
8) A different personality than the one you have.
9) Greater discipline.
10) Time.

10. What are one or two ways we can be praying for you at the moment?


(Photo credits: above, Michèle M. Waite; below, French photographer "JR".)

2 comments:

David JP Hooker said...

Hey David-
How'd did these questions go at the conference? Seems like this might start some pretty interesting discussions. Hopefully artists might find they had some different priorities than they might imagine. (I'm going to run through these myself.)

w. david o. taylor said...

David, the questions were used in two capacities. During my two talks I would pause and ask people to write down an answer to one of the questions. Then I'd continue. This was done in order to get people thinking "with me" as well as to generate fodder for small group discussion. That was their second use. While I wasn't in any of the small groups, I heard good reports from folks who led them.

They're diagnostic questions and could serve any setting, I think, whether individual or communal. I do hope they're helpful.