I finally sat down, exhausted, and looked around me. Piles on the floor creeping towards me, carefully engineered desktop “filing” teetering, bags exploding over boxes, one inspiration after another layered on work surfaces…. I have done it again. I creatived myself into a mountain of mess.
My mind never really stops. The creative ideas come faster than I can actually execute them; but still I try. There are nasty things that get in the way of execution; like eating and sleeping never mind keeping a somewhat clean house and tidy yard. So to discipline myself to do these somewhat mundane things I turn them into a creative project. You know where I am going with this. New recipes to develop, a seasonal decorative change in the bedroom, a new system for cleaning in a newly appointed room, a redesigned more efficient garden bed… IT NEVER ENDS.
I just can’t seem to help myself. But I know I am not alone. Every other artist I know has the occasional (or more than occasional) break down when in the flurry of finishing a project or getting ready for a show the mountain caves in on them. Where are the 911 head-lamped art-rescue crews when you need them?
I do it to myself in business too. I remember advising a younger artist that just because she could do something doesn’t mean she had to do it. But I guess I don’t listen to myself very often because if you look at all I offer here on this website [as I reflectively have just done] I do seem perhaps a little all over the map.
Where do we draw the lines? It may have something to do with ratio or proportioned time allotment but this does not account for the inspired rush of the moment. Stop in the middle and you lose the inspirational flow. In a flash the idea is gone. Perhaps all creatives need little gnomes to follow them around dabbing the sweat from their brows, feeding them chocolate and sweeping up their messes at the end of each flurry. An aproned housewife might do; or perhaps a toga-clad roman slave type might do nicely too. Pick your pleasure.
This a rich topic. I would love it if you commented and we started a discussion. When I reply it is on this post so check back. Thanks for listening.
We had an enjoyable dinner with some new friends last night and the bulk of our conversation centered around our individual struggles with creative expression. All four of us are self-employed successfully working our cerebral professions – and feeling happy that we have them – yet we each have a form of art that we are longing to create. We each are practicing the art, more or less, yet still there is this deep longing and a confusion of time & money management that hangs over our heads. Ultimately D said it best, that creative expression is not fully realized until it is shared.
In that spirit, let me share a link on this topic. It arrived in my in-box this AM and I think it is one of the most profound articles on the creative process that I have read, describing the artistic need to create and how to balance it against a culture that tells us we need to monetize everything. From Garlingo.com “On money, fear, and the artist”– for you D – enjoy!
Sharing my art work above: painted, printed, stitched and stretched cotton. SOLD in private collection. Jane Balshaw