As artists, we are all on a creative journey of some sort, often tightly intertwined with our journey through life. Sometimes we try to force our way through it, pushing ourselves endlessly towards some sort of perfection in the quest to become better at our craft. Often that obsession can suck the joy right out of the creative process, even to the point of hindering it.
Somehow, we have to give ourselves permission to be human and love the imperfections in our art as well as ourselves. Otherwise we risk loathing both, and burning out to the point where nothing is pleasurable.Lately I'm taking a different approach, buried in the still, small voice of the art itself. It whispers, "Follow me. Let me take you somewhere new." And
I find myself unsure of who is leading who - the artist or the art. I'm discovering more joy in going with the flow of a piece and learning to let go when it says it's done, rather than forcing it to be the exact replica of what I originally envisioned. That may sound crazy, but as a writer, I have story people talking to me all the time, telling me their secrets and even dictating when they live and die in my stories. Perhaps it's the subconscious, who knows. But I'm learning to trust it with art as I do with stories. I'm starting to move with it and see where it wants to go, like streams of water flowing into a bigger creative river and out to the sea beyond.
It's teaching me every day to let go of what I think I know, and just create. The picture in my head is only the starting point. The one on the canvas is the real journey.
In the process, it lifts me into a higher place, and reminds why I fell in love with it to begin with.
It brings me a feeling of freedom.
Where anything is possible.
Where everything is possible.
And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing indeed.