Art as Love

Homecoming, Beth Hemmila: fine and sterling silver

In David Richo's book When the Past is Present the author explains that we are all seeking to fulfill the "five A's of adult love: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing us to be ourselves."

The simple act of creating (e.g., art, music, dance, food, etc.) gives me the vehicle for experiencing these five key elements of love. For example, putting aside time to create the necklace Homecoming was a pure act of self-care. Looking at my creative process, I believe that art is my humble way of parenting myself. From this experience, if I truly embody Mark Silver's idea that business is a means to exploring relationship, then through Hint I am also learning how to parent the world.

Below are some ways that art is standing in as my parent for the "five A's of adult love, " but I could go further and explore how these ingredients manifest through my business relationships. Just by blogging and commenting on other peoples blogs, I am both offering and receiving appreciation, affection, and attention. Or when I've designed a charm that nobody purchases, and I come to embrace this disappointment as beautiful moment of loss, I learn acceptance and allowing. What are the ways that you experience these five elements of love in your art or business?

Committing to creating something outside myself and seeing the project through to its completion affords me the experience of dedicated focus. When I become engrossed in making a piece of artwork it reminds me of the same intent as shooting a bow and arrow. There is a singularity to the experience because I have acknowledged that this artwork is worthy of consistent and dependable attention from myself.

Sitting down with a blank canvas, a lump of clay, or a pile of beads gives me the opportunity to learn acceptance of whatever comes from my creative impulse. I learn to practice that whatever transpires is a perfect expression of who I am in that moment.

I have a stack of artwork, collecting dust in a closet because I just HAD to make them :) Like dying your hair purple, sometimes my inner kid has so much curiosity that I just have to know the outcome before moving on. Making something and then being able to appreciate the repetition of the process instead of the outcome is one the greatest gifts art offers human beings.

Creating art involves both looking outside at the world and then inside at myself. These observations generate affection for what I discover both inside and outside. Perhaps art is actually turning my love inside out for the world to see. For example, I choose to create images of nature and animals on charms so that each time I send one to a friend it's like blowing a warm kiss out into the universe -- a heartfelt thanks to the natural world for making my life richer!

Dedicating space physically and emotionally for creating art is the most poignant act of allowing myself to be who I am in every moment. When a human being carves out space in a home for themselves to tinker with cars or throw pottery we are allowing ourselves to follow whatever impulse arises.


  1. Beautiful thoughts, Beth. I've never heard it expressed this way and it's a lovely insight and addition to my way of thinking. I have sometimes considered the 3 "C"s of creativity as Contemplating, Communicating and Caring - as a form of expression that's tangible, expressive of inner thoughts and emotions, and giving to others in a direct way. I like your 5 "A"s also. Unlike the "C"s for evaluating diamonds - carats, color and cut, LOL!

  2. Beth, you have such a wonderful way with words! A very thought provoking post today - something to muse over for many days.

  3. Thank you for sharing the links - it will be good reading no doubt. Your blog is fantastic - I love your beads and jewelry of course but the glimpse into your heart is wonderful - there is so much more than just making a simple bead or piece of jewelry - there really is heart. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  4. Lynn thanks for the 3 C's I love that!

    Catherine and Stacey so glad you enjoyed the inspiration :)


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