Monday, August 18, 2008

in which I start. something.

This is going to ramble a bit, or maybe it won't and I'll get straight to a point. Maybe. Maybe not.

Idea: these little amusing characters that Rob & I made up to amuse each other. A cast that can be made into stuffed toys or vinyl toys and have children's books with their stories in them. So far rob has been way more creative & productive than I have with these guys. But we have fun making up scenarios and putting them into them to see what they do. We let our imaginations run free and it's fun.

Stuck: He's sculpted a few. I've drawn a few. We talk about them & make up stories. Want to actually "bring them to life", so to speak - write out these stories, make these characters, draw the pictures.

But. I. Haven't. Yet.

Fear: Lots. Things like "failure" and "finances" and "do something useful with your life" keep popping up. There are other, smaller, slightly less pestering fears that filter in here and there, but those 3 are the main ones. The big ones. The "DO NOT HIT THIS RED BUTTON" ones.

Havi: The awesome inspiration of Havi Brooks and Selma, over at The Fluent Self, whose blog I read for great "You can do it!" type of thinking, who does amazing things with yoga and brains (totally in a smart way, not in a weird "Ruutting on dee Ritz/Frankenstein" way) and offers ways to stop procrastinating that are really, really effective and well, awesome. We talked last week, as a training session (I got to play guinea pig for her to work on a new method in return for a bit of help and insight to what I want to work on) where I voiced those fears and walked through some of the things affecting my creative process.

Let's just say I learned that this is one tree I want to climb and am figuring it out as I go along.

This is where this "start. something." comes in.

Process: I now admit I'm not good at the photos part. I admit I dislike video blogging, and 99% of the time I will close a page with a video article because I'd rather read. And I know writing takes the time and effort, but it's what I prefer. I prefer the tactile of painting, sculpting, making messes. Remembering to take photos -then download, resize, save, and upload -those photos takes a lot more time than I am willing to invest on a real routine basis. So I will do my best to continue the photos as I can, but I'm going back to the words. Because to me that's what blogging is all about.

More process: Havi suggested (gently urged in that "Just Do It" way she has) that I write myself a permission slip to take 45 minutes to actually, well, "Do" something with this.

Ok. So I failed for this past weekend. I let myself procrastinate on this 'process' and did not use that 45 minute permission slip. I stretched canvas & gesso prepped. I worked on the articles I have on deadline in the next few days. I attended an Airsho meeting where we sorted things out for the Sho next month while beating the usual dead horses (not literally, that would take more than the four hours). And I spent time talking to Rob whom I hadn't gotten to talk to much for the past two weeks.

But! I feel ok about this. It's like I'm clearing the table to make room to work on things. I get these articles done & I can work on these self projects.

And here is where I will document it. Because as we worked out, there have got to be lots of other artists out there who have the same fears and wonders about bringing these things together and making them happen the way we visualize them.

So. Raise your glass. Or tube of paint. Here's to figuring out the process, accepting that it is all about the learning, seeing where it goes, and making things happen. And knowing that this is just one tree. There are plenty more trees out there to go climb later. Right now, this is the one I want to climb.

(Thank you Havi. You are wonderful to work with. I bow in your presence! And will name one of these lil' guys after you. Or Selma.)


Havi Brooks (and duck) said...

I'll drink to that! I mean, paint to that!

This sounds great. And that 45 minutes was really more about the guilt-free (which it sounds like you're nailing) than the doing. The doing is on its way anyway because you're interacting with it and making space for it.

Anyway, you rock, etc. This is very, very cool.

Andrew said...

Hi Heather,

Caught your comment on Twitter re the intelligence (or lack thereof) of having background noise while attempting to work - was going to write something about music2work2 and then saw the creativity post - couldn't resist reading it and commenting as follows:

I go through crazy ups and downs re my work - sometimes I think I've got the best idea and music on the planet - more often I think that I'm a fool chasing the impossible and impaling myself on my own hubris.

I go for months without creating anything and then go into manic week long jags where the music flows out and I worry that I won't have the time to edit it....

I look at what I don't have - I fret over crappy site design or poor audio quality - I worry about my technical inadequacies and resonating frequencies on my string patches and dream of the day I can afford a string quartet - and then I worry about having to score for them - and on...

and on...

and on...

I know that the only way through all of this is to just play - to quell and silence all the doubts and just ...but of course knowing it doesn't help.

What does help is reading about how others are going through the same thing - realizing that I'm not alone or unique in my creative process - and having a medium to be able to encourage them - because by encouraging others to do it - it makes me feel good - and when I'm feeling good - I find it a lot easier to shut down the fear and bullshit!

So - you go girl - and when you're done - send me a photo (even if you hate taking them)- it'll be cool and you'll be helping me!

So - now that I'm feeling much better its back to the resume.

Nathan Bowers said...

In the same boat re: sculpting procrastination, though I have been painting which I'm loving. Painting is more of a release, which I need right now, and sculpting is more like work (excuses, excuses).

Funny how fear gets us. It's only useful when dealing with caveman stuff like lions. When it comes to creativity our fear of being different (which is what fear of success is) takes over.

Anyway, here are some links about sculpting figures you might like:

Maquette tutorial

FigurePunk guide

Please do post lots of pics, I love seeing how other artists work.

The Weaz said...

I am totally with you on the video front. I rarely play videos - they trap you in their universe in a way that words would never do. With text, you can start out kind of skimming and decide whether it's worth the deep dive. With video, you're stuck in THEIR world, on their time. Unless the video is clearly 10 seconds long, or comes from someone who consistently amazes me, I will not (can I get an Amen?) open/click/view!

Thanks for letting me vent. Hope your deck clearing opens up the world for you!

heather said...

Thank you Havi & Selma! And thank you for the permission slip. I will continue to try!

Andrew - see, I have no experience in the creation of music beyond making up ditties to sing while working - I take for granted the beats and tunes that musicians put together for me to listen to. Sometimes I'm inspired by songs, sometimes not - but it's all about making it happen, isn't it?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this - it's got me to thinking too!

Nathan - I have admired your work from afar, but thanks to the internet, it's on my computer screen. I ask the same of you - pics of works in progress, and what you're doing with them.

Pretty please?

Amen Weaz, amen!

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