Lessons from Listening: An Interview with Artist Julia Cameron

When was the last time you really stopped and paid attention to your surroundings? As an artist, I have spent years training my eyes to pay attention to shapes, colors, and so many other aspects of the visual arts that listening to my surroundings was never a top priority. What can we learn from our surroundings when we deliberately slow down and begin to really pay attention?

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to speak with hundreds of artists from all walks of life. It has been a huge honor to explore their stories, hear their unique perspectives, and bring them to my fellow artists like you! While I think I played it cool in this interview, I have to admit that was totally starstruck when I got to speak with none other than Julia Cameron.

Hailed by the New York Times as “The Queen of Change,” Julia is credited with starting a movement in 1992 that has brought creativity into the mainstream conversation— in the arts, in business, and in everyday life. She is the best-selling author of more than forty books, fiction, and nonfiction; a poet, songwriter, filmmaker, and playwright. Commonly referred to as “The Godmother” or “High Priestess” of creativity, her tools are based in practice, not theory, and she considers herself “the floor sample of her own toolkit.”

I hope you get as much joy, inspiration, and encouragement from Julia’s profound insights and wisdom as much as I did!

Learning to listen

Are you ready to listen? Really listen to the world around you? You might be thinking that there is not much around you that is worth listening to – but you’ll never really know until you take the plunge! Julia Cameron is such a huge advocate for quieting the inner voice and tuning into the world all around that she wrote a book about it!

In her book, “The Listening Path,” Julia takes readers on a transformational journey to deeper, more profound listening and creativity. In Julia’s experience, as we learn to listen, our attention is heightened and we gain healing, insight, and clarity. At the heart of the practice, Julia says that listening creates connections and ignites a creativity that will resonate through every aspect of our lives.

If you are ready to find a deeper connection to the world around you and unlock the creativity within you, then try spending some time with the practices and rhythms that Julia teaches about. I’ve been incorporating several lessons from her works over the years and I can not recommend her insights and wisdom enough – I know that dedicated artists like you will get a lot out of what Julia has to offer.

Embracing Playfulness

You can’t get very far in a conversation with Julia Cameron without hearing about her passion for playfulness. Yes, that’s right, Julia is passionate about playfulness. If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am a huge fan of encouraging artists to get in touch with their inner child and unlock that long-hidden impulse to play when it comes to their art. I thought I was serious about playfulness but Julia has me beat. What are you waiting for? The right moment? The perfect plan? Julia encourages you and me to stop overthinking it and just embrace our playfulness. Do something fun today!

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:00] I introduce my guest, Julia Cameron.
  • [6:00] Julia opens up about her experience writing her latest book.
  • [10:00] Cultivating a practice of listening.
  • [13:00] Listening to yourself.
  • [19:30] How to deal with the inner critic.
  • [26:00] What to do next.
  • [30:00] Working from the heart.
  • [37:00] Just try it.
  • [41:00] Doing the work itself is the work.
  • [45:00] Julia talks about her love for film.
  • [48:00] Embracing playfulness.
  • [50:00] Closing thoughts.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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  • WoW!!!! I’m not even a fan of the Artist’s Way but i think i’d better check it out because that interview was so deep & insightful. I got so much from it, thank you once again Antrese- you knocked it outta the park!!! Sincerely, LiZ

  • Hi Antrese, one more thing. i just returned from a week-long workshop a the Scottsdale Artist School ( yay, they’re open in-person again) with Douglas Fryer. We discussed your podcast in the workshop he’s also a fan & i must tell you he is one of the most thoughtful caring & talented instructors i have ever experienced. His work is magnificent- we even got to go on a field-trip to a Scottsdale gallery blocks away to see his current show at Altamira Fine Art. i believe he has given more thought to the pursuit of art than most humans, he’s had a fascinating career and i think you’d enjoy talking with him. All the Best, LiZ

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