In kung fu, the ancient masters required the acolytes to maintain the horse stance for hours on end. A solid horse stance is the foundation for every form, and to achieve it takes a great deal of time and patience. But once achieved, technique flows from it like water gushing from crevices in a rock.
So it is with an artist’s creative process. The foundation, the starting point and the continuous reference point, is the decision, the commitment, to create.
An artistic conception begins with the artist’s decision to express in some concrete form an idea, a feeling, a subject. The artist decides to create. Naturally, the artistic personality is hardwired for this decision, and to not make this decision represents resistance to nature. Nevertheless, it is no small thing to submit to the difficulties and challenges associated with commitment to an artistic process. A commitment to create is a renewal of partnership with the Creator. Partnership with the Creator demands a letting go of the ego, some nullification of the self, some sacrifice of creature comfort. A commitment to create brings vulnerability to the difficulties associated with artistic growth – difficult new learning, social isolation, confusion (the “dark tunnel”), even mental anguish and physical pain.
You are at the beginning of a new creative cycle. There are many more questions than answers now. In fact it is all about questions now. Fortunately, you have learned to appreciate these starting points. For these starting points are all about creative thought – about discovering where you are at right now and where you are ready to go – with your technique, with learning, with level. You can consider professional strategy and incorporate that strategy into the choice you make for this new project.
Just as the master demands long hours of his students in horse stance – so you afford yourself a good chunk of time to consider the new project, to define goals and strategies, to anticipate and plan the kinds of work which will be necessary for successful execution.
And so – your mind embarks on a new journey of creative thought. Allow yourself to be lost in it for a time. This capacity for creative thought is a gift to you, as an artist, from the Creator.