Rules for a Creative Life

The rules for Immaculate Heart Art Department, as written up by Sister Corita Kent and adopted as the official ethos of the art department of her alma matter:


RULE 1 Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while

RULE 2 General duties of the student: pull everything out of your teacher. Pull everything out of your fellow students

RULE 3 General duties of a teacher: pull everything out of your students

RULE 4 Consider everything an experiment

RULE 5 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 6 Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.

RULE 7 THE ONLY RULE IS WORK. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE 8 Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They’re different processes.

RULE 9 Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself: it’s lighter than you think.

RULE 10 “We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules and how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for x quantities. — John Cage

HELPFUL HINTS: 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.


You can buy this as a lovely poster from the Corita Art Center.

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