Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting Started

I have had many blogs before. I had a live journal for crying out loud. I have always love to document my thoughts and feelings about things, but I really haven't been that good at consistency. I guess that makes me human. I have to suck a things, and being a blogger may be one of those things that I suck at. That is why it has become my goal to become better at this. I have decided to attach my writing to the creation of my art. By documenting my processes and new pieces I will be forced to write more often as I create work more  than I write.

Short introduction: I got an art degree in 2010 that really didn't get me anywhere. I spent the next two years doing data entry for different companies, since my degree didn't prepare me for the outside world. I didn't know how to practice my art without school to help me, and I didn't have any avenues to go down for inspiration. After two years of drifting my husband and I decided that I would just quit work, and we would begin our family.

Being a person who is completely incapable of sitting still I went back to my artistic roots and started to make art again, now that I had all of this extra time on my hands. I had to get creative to be creative. I needed to learn how work around my own impairments when it comes to art, and that is what I am going to write about today. We all hit this creative wall, this thing that keeps us from taking our creative ideas and actually bringing them into reality.

I have a hard time starting a project. There I said it. I can sit there and think about all of the different things that I would like to put down, and make into art, but when it comes to starting there it this fear that has a tenancy to take over. I look at the blank paper, or the unsoiled supplies, and think that my first move has to be genius or I will not turn out right. I have to make it perfect, and then all of that pressure builds up behind me and I freeze. I sit there looking at that blank paper and think "Oh crap! I can't do this without messing up."

This was part of why I didn't do anything with my art experience after school. Before I had motivation to actually do something, because if I didn't turn in my assignment no mater how bad it ended up I wouldn't get a grade, and I just can't handle the idea of failure. That out weighed my fear of messing up. Now without motivation and a degree under my belt I felt that everything I did had to be amazing, or that degree would be useless, and I therefore would be useless.

That is the worst lie we can ever tell ourselves when we start the creative process. Creating means that it is going to start out, and not really make sense, it also means that what you thought it was going to be in the beginning isn't necessarily what it will be in the end. If you were to look at a line on a piece of paper you really cannot determine if it will be a picture of a dog, or a completely abstract expression of feeling. They couldn't be more different but they both started with a line of some sort.

I had to come up with a way to break the fear. What did I do?  Well, I don't start out with a blank piece of paper any more. I cannot be afraid to make the first mark if it has already been done for me. That is why I have started work in the collage format. I use old thrift shop art that people have discarded as my canvas and then I paint into it what I think will make the piece more socially relevant to today.

Everyone has a creative handicap, but also everyone has creativity in them. It is not enough to just think that because you have gotten yourself stuck in a loop, where you think you are incapable of creating anything, you have to think around your issues. Deep down inside there ideas, most of them probably half baked but they are there, you just have to find a way to get them out. Don't start with a blank piece of paper, or scribbling first making as many bad marks as you can before you start, so that when you do eventually start you will see the value of that first deliberate mark.

It is just as important that you take the time to exercise your creativity as any other part of your body, because like any other muscle if you don't use it, it will atrophy and you will be stuck in a mind that has a dead imagination. Have faith in those half baked ideas, remember one wrong stroke is just the first stroke on the way to genius. Genius is made up of many okay strokes that add up to awesome, if you don't keep making them you will never get to genius and will be stuck with a couple of okay lines.

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