I find myself at a place of new beginnings in my art. Ever since my daughter was born in May 2008, much of my creative energy has gone toward parenting. Now, as she is getting bigger and a little more independent, I find myself itchy to dive more deeply into my creative work again – yet I feel like a novice, hungry to make progress and yet uncertain of how to proceed. So this morning I did some journaling about how in the past I transitioned from one series of art to the next. I discovered some commonalities…
1) It seems to take about 2 years for me to fully develop a new series – two years of experimentation, some false starts, some breakthroughs and then refinement.
2) I like to work on two projects at one time, so that when I get stuck working on one, I can move over to the other one. Bottle Dreams and Milagros were both born together and so were Evocations and Sanctuary.
3) There are false starts, there are one-offs that never become a series, and there are pieces that never go anywhere, but making them was really important in the overall development of new work.
4) Gathering and collecting are a big part of my process. Getting the right bottles, maps or other objects around me in the studio is essential.
5) New technology, tools and materials helped me grow as an artist – whether it was taking classes on alternative photo processes that eventually helped me make Mapping the Body, or getting a digital camera which led me to make Evocations and Sanctuary.
6) A deadline has been a key factor in moving the work from experimentation to manifestation. Having a solo show on the calendar usually does the trick for me.
7) I don’t work on my art everyday. I never have. With a child in my life, this is even more true. My creativity lies dormant within me and then explodes with the right combination of prep work, materials in place, concentrated time and a deadline. A lot can come to together very quickly.
Sitting here today, this list becomes a kind of road map for me. I am setting out on what may be a two-year journey. I am looking for two ideas to work on in tandem. I will play and experiment and gather the things my intuition says to collect. I will look for some new tools and materials to inspire me. When I get a little further down the road, I will set up a deadline to accelerate the creation of new work. In the meantime, I am going to do my best to relax and trust and enjoy the process.
Image Above: A Creative Fire Within from the series Milagros