They say, “just begin at the beginning”, unfortunately it’s not always that easy. Frankly, we don’t always know where to begin, and how to move forward. For example, I wasn’t sure what to write about today. I knew I wanted to talk about my experience of being creative and in "process" over the last two weeks, but I struggle with knowing what I want to say about it.
So, let me just start in the middle. I’m in process, my space is a mess, ideas emerge with fits and starts, I find myself elated, frustrated and filled with doubt from moment to moment; each laying of a color or collage takes me through an emotional roller coaster. The sad part is that I’m only working on a piece that’s 2’x3’, and made solely for my own edification and “movement through” a previously turbulent two weeks. WTF?
|International Soul Art Day work in progress|
It’s amazing to me how connected and committed I can be to “creative expression” and “process” while simultaneously embracing doubt, fear, resistance and an inner struggle. What’s up with that? Does it ever stop? *Sigh… I don’t know.
Sometimes I wonder why creating can feel painful and sad, and yet such tremendous wisdom can be gleaned during and after the process. And then there's the shear joy and elation that comes with a product that pleases – it's the proverbial “cherry” or “icing”.
“Hallalujah!” I shout, triumphant over my creative passage; it’s done – until the next blank canvas, music score, or journal page beckons. “Why do I do this to myself?“ I wonder.
I know the answer, I just don’t want to admit it.
I like the emotion-filled, unpredictable, “getting my hands dirty” feeling that comes from being fully engaged and committed to “playing” and expressing myself creatively – even if it means being deeply moved and impacted in unexpected ways – even if it means experiencing profound feelings that I can’t articulate, and sometimes have trouble sitting with. Does that make me a masochist?
I also struggle with the frivolity of it all – how can I rationalize cutting, pasting, gluing, coloring, and playing with Styrofoam, buttons, glitter, mosaic tiles, affirmations, and whatever else crosses my path? “Seriously? That’s how you spent your day?” my critic roars, incredulous.
|my messy workspace|
I find myself repeatedly taking deep breaths, holding onto the armrests of my chair for dear life. "Can I do this?" I ask myself. "I can do this." I tell myself. I LOVE to do this! (despite appearances). I feel better when I do this. My life is more meaningful because of doing this.
Ok… (deep breath) now let’s continue, I’m not done. I’m still in the middle of it, scrap papers strewn haphazardly around me, paint brushes floating in dirty water, creative ideas that I haven’t glued down yet, but keep assessing for their “artistic” contribution. My art supplies lie splayed out, scattered in a frenzied whirlwind of possibility. And me, I sit as the eye of the storm, pleased to be in the middle of it!
How about you? What’s your creative process like?