Born in 1967 in Tel Aviv, Israel, today Ori Gersht is renowned and esteemed as an artist and a professor of Photography at The University for the Creative Arts in Rochester, Kent, UK.

Anthropologie Mary Catherine Bateson notes that “the way we live our lives, is itself, the process of creating a work of art”. I’ve turned living life as a work of art into a key life goal. What does that mean, exactly? Isn’t that a vague and nebulous goal? It can be. Many authors and online forum posters have shared differing interpretations and opinions of what it means to live life as a work of art. Inspired by Michael J. Gelb’s book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, here’s my own 10-point interpretation.

1. Take responsibility to create a life for yourself.

There is certainly nothing wrong with sitting back and letting things happen (indeed, there are times when this is beneficial), but you must acknowledge that you have the agency to direct your own life. As an artist shapes a creative masterwork, you can be actively involved in shaping your life.

Knowing what you want in the long term can be great motivation to meet shorter term goals and to make everyday decisions. Write down your goals, make a visual inspiration board – whatever works for you. However, leave room for surprises and diversions, as artists sometimes end up with completely unplanned masterpieces.

2. Consider balance in your life.

As an artist can consider balance in her work (e.g. light vs. dark, objects vs. space), work on balancing productivity vs. rest, helping others vs. acting for yourself, the ol’ standby work vs. play, and many more.

3. Develop and refine your mind, your skills, and your relationships.

An artist can spend decades, or even a lifetime, developing and perfecting his craft. We can work on developing ourselves through self-knowledge, cultivating new skills, and refining existing skills. Michael J. Gelb’s book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci provides excellent guidance and inspiration for developing creativity, and David Keirsey’s book Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence is an excellent resource for self knowledge through personality typing, as well as interacting with and understanding others.

4. Express fully all aspects of yourself.

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