Sunday, September 2, 2012

Moving Forward

It's easy to get stuck in a loop sometimes. Memories and perceptions-revisited can give the creative artist a sense of being in a rut, standing still, or not moving forward. This can be reflected in one's work process or in ones output, where we feel a little bit like we're not evolving or challenging ourselves to explore new territories. Sometimes this can lead to frustration or a notion of being caught within the layers of our own psyche, unable to push forward or move beyond our own personal experiences.

It's important for an artist to recognise that sometimes standing still is a part of the creative process. It's not necessarily an indication of one's abilities or denials, but an integral part of the journey. Sometimes taking the time to stand still and look intensively at the view for a long period of time can in itself bring about the insights which can lead to momentum. There is nothing wrong with exploring the one piece of real-estate over and over again. Perhaps there is something here that you've missed or that you feel the need to explore more deeply. perhaps you haven't been able to see the forest for the trees, or just maybe there's something more to explore here that just needs a little unearthing to find it.

Of course, most of us feel the excitement of doing something new. It's exhilarating and tantalising. But don't discount the benefits of staying in the one place for a while. Familiarity can breed it's own unique forms of exploration, and sometimes one can only find things previously hidden by hanging around and digging in the one spot for a while.

Momentum is a great thing, but don't dismiss your process just because you're not experiencing it all of the time. Stay still. be quiet. you might be really surprised at what you find :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Releasing Stuff

To set free from confinement, restraint, or bondage ;To free from something that binds, fastens, or holds back; let go.

It's an interesting definition when you're an artist. This weekend i released a new music track ( FYI ) and now i feel very much like the above definition. I have let it go, but having spent so much intensity on the work, i feel a sense of emptiness. No need to be concerned. This is a normal part of the process for me, and quite a familiar one for many artists like myself.

Prior to a work's public release, it's something a part of me that hardly anybody knows about. It's secret, and precious...something that's all mine. I write often, but only release from time to time. Not everything i write i like...not everything i produce i'm happy with. So the stuff that i do like and happy with is very special to me. And once it's "out there" in the world, not only does it no longer fit within the definition of being my own precious thing anymore, but also i can no longer nurture it by doing stuff with it. It's growth has ended.

Just like a painter or a sculpture, a music artist spends a labour of love moulding and shaping a piece of music. It takes time and dedication. It takes the belief in something that is part of you, yet stands outside of you. There are hours of frustration, longing, excitement, and faith in every single work which eventually becomes "released". There's an investment in thought, in passion, in dedication, and in trust....times when you face your own stupid demons, and also revel in your epiphanies. A piece of music, which ends up only 4 minutes in length, can have taken months and even years to produce. It can be filled with every extreme of an artists psyche, and only they can really know what it took to get it there. It's final birth is the result of an emotional, intellectual, and sometimes spiritual journey which can only be truly understood by the people who made it.

And so, it's the end of one thing.
I'll be off now, to wrestle with myself and something new.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Share With Me

Share with me the creative process. 
For to me, 
this has more life-truth than the 
final polished piece i can hang on my wall. 
Reveal to me the rawness of the journey, 
so i too may feel i had taken it with you,
had seen what you had seen, 
had pained as you had pained, 
and loved as you had loved. 
For to me,
there lies the real beauty in the Art. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Working Artist

Most artists find themselves in a situation where they need to supplement their income...bread-and-butter money, i call it. Sometimes it can be related work, such as teaching their art, but often it's more likely to be in another arena, which can be the polar opposite to their work as an artist.

It's not easy jumping from one thing to another. After a day working in the office, it can be frustrating to find the right headspace to work on one's masterpiece. Even working from home can be fraught with a myriad of challenges, and many artists find that inspiration is elusive when you have the stresses of work hanging over you.

There are some ways around this. Getting into a groove or a routine can be helpful at times. Even if you don't feel the muse, just spending time in your creative work area can ease you back into the right frame of mind. Simply tidying up your workspace, or doing something else mundane in your studio can help get you back there. Sometimes, NOT having any goals can ease the expectations of achieving something, which can get you into a much more relaxed state, where you're more likely to find some kind of flow again. There's no need to put yourself under any more pressure than is necessary, and the small and seemingly insignificant things can actually turn out to be just what you needed.

Of course, sometimes a dose of serious pressure can be highly motivational. Deadlines can sometimes be the inspirational force necessary to birthing a new piece, and halting a state of procrastination. If it works for you, try and set your own personal deadlines, but be aware that too much unnecessary pressure can also be counter-productive.

The good thing about having a regular income is that it can save the stress of needing to sell something or deliver the artistic goods to keep food on the table and a roof over your head. If there's a way to earn money that is related to your artform, it's fantastic, but even if it's something completely different, it can give you the freedom to be free from financial worry. You're not necessarily "selling out" by taking that job (which is something i hear often from artists). It can be a great gift to have the freedom to work on your art without wondering if it's going to feed you next week.

Of course, everyone is different, and whatever your situation, there is always a way you can make it work for you. Keep it simple, and take it easy on yourself. If it doesn't work for you today, there's always another day tomorrow.