When I started performing stand-up comedy, I wanted a unique way to stylize my photo for show announcements. I was highly influenced by American artist and pop art pioneer Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987).
When I did a Google search for Warhol’s work, the following result stood out, Sister Corita Kent’s Rules of Creativity.
Sister!? A Catholic Sister. . .whaaaat?
Sister Mary Corita Kent, (1918 – 1986) was an American Roman Catholic nun, celebrated artist, educator and chair Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, AND an advocate for social justice.
Sister Corita specialized in silk screening (serigraphs) and like Warhol, incorporated popular culture in her designs. Her art focused on religion, labor and civil rights, poverty, and racism.
I love that she was such a rebel!
Rule 10: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage*)Sister Corita Kent
Part of her legacy is her famous Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules.
My favorites are in bold below:
- Rule One: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.
- Rule Two: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
- Rule Three: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.
- Rule Four: Consider everything an experiment.
- Rule Five: Be self-disciplined — this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
- Rule Six : Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.
- Rule Seven: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
- Rule Eight: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
- Rule Nine: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
- Rule 10: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage*)
Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.
–Sister Corita Kent
To learn more about the amazing life and art of Sister Corita Kent, visit www.corita.org/
*John Cage (1912-1992) was American composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher who popularized Sister Corita’s rules.