Chance, timing and patience in the process of creating
This was both serendipitous and ironic listening for me this week on the way to a writing retreat. Circling back round today to take in the clock work by Josephine. Fascinated about the starting fresh to compete in one sitting approach. I really struggle to pick up threads of work again unless I start with a blank page and use that previous work to ‘pluck’ ideas from.
Thanks so much for this essay. I love the way you are taking inspiration from daily life and feeding it back into your work. You are right, I think it does all add up and influence our story.
I’ve taken so much from your work this year, thanks for writing, and hi from Aus 🇦🇺
It takes time for me to realize exactly what a piece is about... sometimes years. I loved the work of Pope L. and thanks for that interview with him... gives me hope for my work as I've traveled the roads from theatrical, performance work to visual work...
Wonderful description of the frustrations (and joy) of creating. It is never a straight path.
I hope you will return to the subject of the power of voice. An artist duo that might be of interest is Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller. https://cardiffmiller.com
Love this reminder. It's such a refreshing break from the laser focus that the working world seems to require, where you're supposed to know EXACTLY what you want and go get it. Or you're supposed to know exactly who you are as a writer and what service you're providing to your readers that they'll keep coming back for.
This reminds me of a distinction that Rick Bass made once between his activism and his art. Activism, he says, takes. It takes energy, it asks for money, it consumes time. By contrast, art gives. I don't think there is any way of creating meaningful or enduring art with an a priori profit motive. Maybe some can produce content that way, but that's different from the truth-seeking, discovery-hungry process of creation with giving as the primary motive.
I have just found your writings and am glad I did! I’m enjoying your perspective and appreciate you accessible writing style.
Your question about voice drudged up the memory of artwork I made in college in which I was yelling in a crowd of anonymous “suits” with the text “Sometimes, no matter what you say, or how loud you say it, nobody hears you.” I was inspired to make it after an experience of being ignored and interrupted by a group of male classmates. I felt so frustrated and powerless. In a more recent work, I include a woman breezing by a man in uniform who is mansplaining at her. I didn’t realize how related those works are, separated by 2 decades, and with a completely new take on voice. I’ve given power back to the female character all these years later. Finally.
Thank you for helping me see how far “we” have come.
Such an interesting article. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. My concious mind is taking time to absorb the words you've written and yet I felt a knowing inside when I read them.
I am an intuitive painter and it's so often my concious mind that can't solve the problem and it's the unconscious mind that feels like the alchemy when it comes through. I am still attempting to learn strategies to enable that to happen more often and shut out the concious.
What a timely message as I'm about to head to an artist residency with no idea what I'm going to do or how to go forward in general. I'll take it as a sign not to freak out...
Thanks for these thoughts!…perhaps courage is there too!… but I love your idea of alchemy !.. the energy of sluicing together many thoughts , experiences in one moment!
It is a moment of creation …same in painting ! And I see how fear can creep in and stop the process!
Perhaps we need more than patience ?… a deeper dive, a recognition of the fear …
And finding a way to take the pressure of it off ?
I think being or connecting in nature helps hugely !.. in itself this too requires some courage !
Thanks for making me think