Monday, May 16, 2005

Right answers to my questions...

I read blogs by various artists…actors, designers, scrappers, graphic artists, poets, musicians…the list is significant.

I completely relate to the need to create, the need to be “real”, the need to achieve something significant artistically, the need to be in the process, the anxiety over what happens when I don’t create, what happens when I do, the desire to cook something up from the peanut butter and lime juice in my fridge, the desire to have work that rewards me artistically, the desire to get in and investigate, to open all the closed doors and go into every room.

But then I look at the art these people are creating and I think, “What the heck am I doing? I’m no artist! I’m a hack!” Perhaps it’s because the creative process is being re-birthed in me. Perhaps its because I’m still trying to loose the chains of perfectionism. Perhaps its because I am discovering a new person under my mask and I’m not quite sure what it is she has to say artistically. Maybe its because I’m JUDGING the outcome again rather than being part of the process and allowing myself freedom there.

I used to trust my own creative choices. I was sure once, of the color of my walls, the shape of my living room sofa, the time-period of the antique pieces I wanted in my home. I knew how to dress creatively and where to go to be inspired to write. Now, I’m sort of lost…can’t go back – there is nothing there. Can’t go sideways – there is already somebody in that lane. And going forward is scary – I don’t know what is there…and I struggle so much with not knowing what is there!

Looking at the work of others is very inspiring to me, but I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t pull away, to isolate for awhile. It is most assuredly possible to fill the well with nature, with texture, with feeling, with seeking and not look, even one time, at the art of another. But how does one live without ever looking and analyzing the artistic quality of what is around them? Relevance gets called into question with this approach. Can I be relevant, can I create in and of myself without somebody on the outside to produce work that inspires me to work? How does a designer do it? How do they make something from nothing? Is the decay of much of the quality of artistic endeavor due to this very thing – that we are all looking at one another to find relevance rather than looking within and to God? And an even more important question: Am I pulling away because I’m too intimidated to just keep going and get to a place where my art is better?

Do I have what it takes to make something from nothing? And will that something be relevant? Do I have what it takes to learn from, rather than be intimidated by, these other artists I’ve been watching and listening to? Are these even the right questions?

The pondering is good…I know because the seeking of answers for these questions is what drives me in the first place. I know there are answers for each question…lots of answers….lots of RIGHT answers…but knowing which right answer is MY right answer. That is the true problem at hand. Does my art signify the right answer for me to my questions?

Of this, I am not certain...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your ponderings spoke to me. :) I ponder the same things these days. Don't we all?

amazing grace said...

very inspiring post....
i understand what you are saying about being influenced and inspired by other's artwork---but not becoming a chameleon to those around us as well.....

defining your own artistic style and keeping the passion--i am on that journey as well.

Anonymous said...

this is a great post. i know how you feel. i have been there. i did take a break, and it felt good. i personally had to much stress and chaos filling my mind to be creative. i am feeling so much more creative these days. i think everyone goes through this from time to time. you'll be fine, hang in there!!