Lolita was talking to her lizard lover the other day about how much goes into her creative process – emotionally, physically, intellectually. There is all the thought and planning, significant decision making, and not least, a creative drive that kicks in, takes over, pushes the artist sometimes brutally to the finish line.
Lizard mentioned having read an interesting bit in the profile of an artist on fineartamerica.com recently. This woman was talking about her own creative process. She described the discovery of a subject and that once she had committed to the subject, then she was on a “mission.” To be on a mission is to accept an assignment, either self-imposed or commanded by another, as an unqualified commitment. Mission Impossible was about remarkably talented individuals who committed to completing the mission or die trying. The artist commits to a process. The mission is to take a vision, a concept, a subject, and run with it, develop it, explore it fully and express everything she discovers with all the technique available to her. Unlike that Mission Impossible mission, however, the artist does not know at the beginning exactly where he should be at the end. All she knows is she will find her way to an end – that is her purpose and responsibility in her creative life.
What of the process? of the daily grind – returning to the project each day – connecting creatively with your productive internal resources – and taking, usually, those frustrating but necessary baby steps that slowly work you along in the project. So many challenges. The discipline to keep body, mind and spirit working together. The courage to reach for the new, the unfamiliar, that which may be critically rejected. The physical and mental stamina to continually refine one’s technique, learn more about a software program, patiently and positively work around creative and technical roadblocks.
By better understanding all of the related elements of creative life – our creative cycles, the nature of the artistic personality, how we grow as artists – we can engage more fully and more consistently in our work. We can integrate the experience of mundane life – day jobs, house and family matters, social life, in ways that strengthen us rather than sap us for our passionate hours painting, writing, composing, sculpting, designing.
As the wise, organized type, you appreciate the value of commencing important analysis with some definitions. We will take some time to describe the 5 major areas of discussion which will comprise the subject matter for this humble blog. And we will journey together to greater productivity, more profound work, greater satisfaction and achievement in our creative lives.