It still surprises me that at one point in my creative process it always gets worse before it gets better. This has occurred for me in my whole creative life which has been active for 22 years now. In all of 22 years, it still surprises me.
By surprise, I mean I feel a real terror as soon as it starts to get worse. I start with an idea…I sketch it out…or lay down my first attempt, the gesture. This original initiation is great. It’s beautiful in it’s own right and it holds so.mush.promise….but it is clearly not finished.
So, then I work more…and in this middle place I need lots of TIME. My current working lifestyle means that I only get 3 hour blocks to work in. So, inevitably I must walk away in the middle of WORSE. Right in the middle of the creation being realized it looks really not so great.
Strangely, it doesn’t go from that original great first gesture or impression and keep getting better every moment. No, it actually gets worse and worse and looks like I’ve pretty much ruined it before it gets better. When I come back to it in this phase, I am gripped with the feeling that I’ve ruined it. Thoughts about ‘just starting over’ begin marching through the head, maybe I should scrap this idea etc. etc. I feel as if the last three hours were a waste of time because they appear to have changed too much the awesome thing I began with. What.have.I.done!?!
I realize that I hold a belief that says a “Master” is one who knows when to quit, when a piece should no longer be touched, when it has reached it’s best moment. Perhaps that belief is part of my struggle? Perhaps I think too much about a visual sense of completeness and I DO drive the piece of work away from the original fresh creation. FEAR NUMBER ONE.
….or perhaps my works are actually a healing process. Often in healing the dis-eased part of the body/mind must get worse before it gets better. The sickness is actually a symptom of the body being out of balance, not the problem itself. The sickness makes us rest and not move so our bodies can heal themselves, as they were made to do. The sickness also alerts us that we need to tend to it differently to aid in the healing, maybe through different intake of foods and fluids, etc. So, often we realize that a minor illness has grown into an infection of some sort and everything begins to look a lot worse before it gets better. We panic, we fret, we worry but this is called HEALING.
Perhaps I’m ready to embrace the moment of healing or ‘making new’ within my creative process?
After 22 years, I think experience can turn into learning and I can trust that the process is moving toward resolution even when it looks soooo bad.Share on Facebook