Artist Tip: Learn to Love the Questions

Artist Tip: Learn to Love the Questions

Have patience with all things unresolved and learn to love the questions themselves.
– Rainier Maria Rilke

Artists are endlessly curious. But in life, we spend a lot of our time running away from questions. We want to know everything right now. Yet it’s only by following the questions that we find where the true answers lie.

Artists are often the victims of too many ideas, or what may seem like too many answers.

By applying critical thinking and asking the right questions, we are better able to clarify our ideas and see how they best complement one another. This is where life begins to work with us and reveal its magic. When that happens, the struggle disappears.

In a world where everything can be googled, questions are more important than ever—because the most important answers aren’t found online, but rather within.

When I first started to realize that I needed to make some changes in my life, I began asking myself each day, “What do I really, really want?”

I asked it all the time. And I listened deeply, without censoring my initial responses, for what came up.

To each answer, I would ask, “Why?”

To each problem or setback, I would ask, “How can I make the most of this?”

Choosing to embrace the questions instead of scrambling for answers is the essence of the journey toward real creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask big questions, for the bigger they are, the deeper you will go.

The crystal ball into your future lies in your own hands. Just ask.

Crista Cloutier is an artist who writes. She’s the founder of The Working Artist, online business program for visual artists of all media. Visit to join her mailing list and you’ll also receive a free gift.

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