Making room for creativity often seems like a daunting task, right? Between “real life” responsibilities and dinner prep and ink-scrawled calendar pages, finding time to create for the sake of creating seems like a long-lost luxury. And it is, for most. Unless you’re Austin-based artist and powerhouse career woman Xochi Solis.
Xochi always knew she’d be making art in some capacity. “I used to think I was going to be an architect, or at least I dressed up as one for third grade Career Day,” Xochi jokes. And although she’s not quite an architect, she’s been busy building the foundation for a serious career in the arts, juggling work as both an artist and University of Texas’ Visual Arts Center Director of Events and Public Programming. It’s a busy life, balancing an art practice and a demanding career. “Sometimes I feel like it’s a Vaudeville act where I spin 5 plates in the air on ten-foot poles all while playing the banjo,” she writes.
Yet most of the time, for Xochi, it feels natural and rhythmic as she seeks to find small similarities in each job. “They both begin with a tiny spark of an idea and a vision for greatness,” she writes. “The skills I craft with one position feed the other and vice versa.”
It’s an inspired outlook to compare administrative tasks with brush strokes, sweeping meaning into each act and creating something anew. And it makes me think of my own life – how writing often feeds various parts of my soul, overlapping into other jobs and duties and tasks. How much more enjoyable would answering emails be if I considered each reply a blank page awaiting an inspired thought? If each checkmark on my to do list wasn’t a stamp of productivity, but instead a mark of purpose?
Finding what you love, it seems, is the easy part. But infusing your life with that passion – amidst deadlines and voicemails and oven timers – is perhaps where things get tricky. But maybe that’s where intention comes into play?
“I am continuously inspired by my surroundings and make a concentrated effort to let the present moment resonate with me,” Xochi writes. “I am very aware that every single detail that floods my senses from sunup to sundown has importance and how I perceive this world around us is mine alone. Bad or good, sunny or stormy, this world is pretty marvelous and I try to take my observations and make something unique and true for me.”
Xochi’s paintings are the result of those observations – layered and abstract, colored with intent. And although we can’t all paint with a trained hand, creativity isn’t necessarily defined by an artist palette, is it? “Cooking a meal, arranging bedroom furniture, picking out what you are going to wear for the day, these are all using creative parts of your brain,” Xochi writes. “I would say it’s sort of in the pores of [our] skin.”
And I think Xochi’s right. I think making space for creativity might be inevitable, because we’re already doing it. We’re all artists, sculpting with words and memories and perspectives – shaping and re-shaping our canvas each day. Layered and abstract, colored with intent.
Image Credits: Xochi Solis