Do you know how you arrive at the blank page, the blank canvas, the empty stave, the empty stage?
Every artist has a process. No matter what the art, we all have a starting point, a river of habit that takes us to our art. But do you know what yours is? And, if you do, are you happy with it or do you constantly feel it should be faster/earlier/easier/calmer/more ordered … just somehow not the way it is?
From my experience of my wonderful fellow creatives, this pre-creating process might include:
making 5 cups of tea
going for a walk
procrastinating until the last minute and then pulling an all-nighter
obsessively checking your phone for emails and/or social media
putting in a load of washing
telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow
ordering – tidying, washing brushes, polishing, filing (this is my one)
going on-line to check out how other artists do it
going on-line to buy just one more oh so totally essential item …
We all have a process. The trick is to know what it is, to value it and to claim it as your own.
Every house I have ever bought has had a studio space in it. Sometimes I would buy it for the studio more than the house. My husband and I had a particularly mad phase where we bought a house in the country with an acre of land. The property had a beautiful barn and my amazing husband converted part of it into a studio for me. It was a beautiful studio with everything I could want. Was I thrilled, was I over the moon, did I move in straight away? No! I was paralysed with fear and did not even step into the studio for weeks. The next stage was furtive little forays into the space, where I would do a little ordering and guiltily rush out again.
I began to realise that my painting was so important to me and the fear of rejection so great, I would have to approach it gently and kindly and with baby steps.
10 years and several studios on, fear rarely appears in my process. But I still circle. I still order. The difference is that I now know that this is my artistic process.
It is vital to know your own creative process. You may view your creative process as procrastination. Even if it is, it is part of your process. Julia Cameron in her seminal work ‘The Artist’s Way’ likens it to the way a dog circles several times before finally lying down. Whatever your personal circling looks like, it is yours. It is part of what creates your inspirational, unique art. And the world wants and needs your inspirational, unique art.
So know your creative process and own it, fellow Creatives! It is yours and it is what births your creativity into the world!