Creativity is a Process

When I returned from Cuba I was inclined to jump right back into things. The problem was I had moved the day before I left for Cuba. Nothing was in it’s place and it’s place was hard to determine. What I decided to focus on was a bit of nesting so the space would feel like it was ready to be worked in.

I gathered some things and put them around. Did an art exchange to acquire some furniture and purchased a few things. Pulled things out of boxes and even removed the plastic shrink wrap from the fridge I’d bout 5 months ago. Yes, I needed to tell my brain and my heart this is where we are going to be for a long time. Exhale.

On Saturday I finally felt like it was time to get some work done and dove into a smaller piece. I chose not to work on the things I’d journaled about in Cuba just yet. Why? Because I go by my intuition and it was more important to start the practice than it was to accomplish something on the list of creative projects. No need to expand the line of thought when there was a skip in time for the practice itself. I treat my practice like an athlete treats training. If you lose time you don’t just jump right back in and hurt yourself. It’s proving to be true as my brain is still adjusting to the new space and having a roommate. I ran across this today and really connected to it thematically as a connector to my experiences.



So I dove into this smaller piece (14″x19″) thinking it would be lite and airy way to get started. I of course have to remember that I am still me and lite and airy is not really my M.O.. I felt out the space and wet in for the details with my pencils first. That was my clue. I wanted to do this fast piece and it still took 3 full days to get it done. Not that I was rushing. Just went in with one idea and the work reminded me it sets the schedule not me.

"ING" 14"x19" - study of trash on the streets of Paris.
“ING” 14″x19″ – study of trash on the streets of Paris.

I’d wanted to do this one for some time and am so happy I did. It’s a piece I know will work at mural size, so that gets added to the list of potential projects.  I’ve always loved painting fabric and paper crumpled into different compositions. This reminded me of one of the themes I wanted to add into the nude series I have been working on. I will need to gather more white sheets from my friend Mark to make this happen.

Another observation I thought was weird at this stage was my internal dialogue. “OMG I can do this.” Like I had not proven it to myself before. Like I was not surrounded by evidence. Like it was the first time. Yeah this still happens. A small gap in the discipline and I am questioning if I had faked it the entire time. It was a farce I’d played out and it was time to get a job at the bank and start calculating my worldly possessions to dole out to friends when I die. How to combat these voices? Action. I’ve said it before, working when there is work to be done, and when I don’t want to are the keys to improving the work. A friend invited me to brunch on Sunday. I said no because I knew I needed to work on this piece. He did the “Oh come on you can work anytime. You’re an artist. You can make your own schedule.” Yes and no. I can make my own time, but I also listen to the intuitive voice that keeps me moving forward. I needed to work. NEED. Not want. Not a hobby. A discipline that drives me forward.