I'm just coming off a week in the Texas Hill Country for the Roadhouse Arts jewelry and design retreat - an amazing time of creating and exploring what it means to be an artist. In addition to sharing the experience with the awesome retreat attendees and my dear friends Gail Stouffer and Melissa Muir, I also got to meet and get to know Connie Fox, whose work inspired me to get into metals in the first place. I'll have something to say about it all once I've had a chance to process it a bit, but in the meantime, I thought this post on the essential nature of discipline was a good fit for where my head is at. Enjoy!
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In yesterday's post, the very awesome Louise Goodchild asked a terrific question: "What do you do to kick start your creativity if your muse has done a vanishing act?"
Several versions of this question have been rattling around in my head since my business partner Lisa gave a presentation to the San Antonio Glass Art Guild on a similar issue a couple of weeks ago. How do we motivate ourselves? What's the difference between people who long to make a creative life and those who actually do? How on earth do some people make dozens of gorgeous components or pieces in a weekend while others of us spend the same amount of time with the jewelry equivalent of a writer's blank page? How is it that some makers manage to become unique and recognizable artists while others struggle to find the "it" that speaks to and about them?
|Beautiful ceramic components by Karen Totten|
|Rebecca Payne's leather feathers - yum!|
|Gorgeous ceramic components in progress by Diana Ptaszynski|
It isn't that they're more talented (sorry ladies!) - though they are indeed extraordinarily talented. It boils down to discipline - they sit down and do the work, whether they feel like it or not.
I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.
- Pearl S. Buck
Ouch. There have been lots of times I've chosen a movie or a nap over pushing through and doing something productive at my bench, because I didn't "feel it" that day. What did I miss by not requiring a measure of discipline from myself?
You may not be a Picasso or Mozart but you don’t have to be. Just create to create. Create to remind yourself you’re still alive. Make stuff to inspire others to make something too. Create to learn a bit more about yourself.
- Frederic Terral
I've been in a funk - both personally and creatively - for several months, and I wrote about it recently on my blog. But this recurring question about the "how" of creativity has jolted me into looking at it in a different way: I can't expect to be creative if I'm not creating.
(Insert "I coulda had a V-8" headslap here.)
Let me put it another way:
So, my answer to yesterday's question?
Go make something.
Until next time -