Working Multiple Projects

26 May

bubbles appear above a head which represent multiple projectsAn artist once told me that she always had several projects in process at any given time.  How many is several?  I think she said 12.  She certainly was talking about more than 2 or 3.

Juggling multiple projects might seem at odds with our notion of  a creative process and the kinds of mindsets and emotions associated with that process.  The creative process has been described, in summary, as follows:

  1. conceptualization (creative thought)
  2. new learning
  3. project decisions
  4. implementation
  5. endgame
  6. celebration
  7. recovery

The artist experiences different frames of mind and emotions during the different phases of the project.  Creative thought and new learning is a time to let the imagination soar.  It is a time to be curious, to explore, to discover something new through learning.  As we enter into the decision making and implementation phases, our mindset is more analytical.  The project endgame is the most intense phase.  We feel anticipation and urgency.  We are immersed in the emotional content of our work.  We experience spontaneous flashes of inspiration.

Is it unreasonable to expect an artist to work on different projects at different stages of completion, given the different emotional states associated with different phases of the creative work?  Probably not.  We experience lows and highs, moments of calm thought and moments of exuberance in our daily lives.  We are not working on our different projects at exactly the same time of day, and most likely on different days.  Our emotional involvement (or lack of involvement) in one project, at one stage of completion, can positively impact our work on a different project at a different phase in the process.  We foster healthy overlaps in the various steps associated with the creative process.  We potentially invest analytical phases with more passion.  Likewise, we may offer ourselves an additional bit of grounding during more emotion laden phases of later-stage projects.

Perhaps you are stuck with some issue in a current project.  Consider starting something completely new.  Perhaps all your work will benefit as a result.



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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in creative process


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