"Art resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic."- Charles Eames. I have been smitten with the ideas of creativity for awhile. I was taken in the lively journey of Elizabeth Gilbert in her book "Big Magic" and left to question how does creativity enter our minds, our space. I have a hard time imagining an idea floating around and at any moment we could grasp it, if only we were alive enough, and present enough in that time. That idea almost seems religious in the sense that, if you believe enough your prayers will be answered and all others, well, too bad, you will be left alone and overlooked because your faith wasn't strong enough. I have a hard time believing in that, I do think folks try very hard, they think, ponder, walk, ride bikes, drink coffee, hoping and waiting for that burst of creativity and sometimes it just doesn't come. I really did like her book, but I often want to hear more about the real work it takes to get creativity to flow, the hours spent doing work that seems bad, empty, forgotten before the good stuff emerges. I especially am fond of the book "The Creative Habit", by Twyla Tharpe. I enjoy the exercise she puts forth, the myriad of professions she draws on to suggest ways to be more creative. With effort, real work, we can access this magic. But is it magic? Not really, I think more and more, it is work. Like those who believe in Kinetiscism, actually moving your hand in a random doodle, can help your brain and body understand you are engaging in work, the movement can stimulate the next step, creation. Know what will we create.
In my work, I try to build a cohesive body of work that all lives happily together. Some people call that branding, and I understand that term, but it some ways it feels so forced to me. I really try and make connections that feel natural. I make a lot of mistakes, and sometimes I feel like I cannot afford to make those mistakes, it takes time away from me making the work that actually sells. This becomes my conundrum, needing more time for mistakes. More time for wandering around without feeling the need or guilt that I am not stocking up inventory for the Fall. Time is probably one of the most precious things in my life, however, luckily I find it coming after happiness and love. However, it seems the hardest to balance.
I guess I could use a big gust of wind to sweep into my mind with that next great big idea, but I know it will take time, effort, mistakes, and maybe I will even overlook what was really great for that other thing. But in all, I am brought to that common theme in my life, I am grateful. I am grateful for such an amazing quest, for the luxury of even getting to imagine what this is, for a life that is made based on me creating and a public that supports me. I better get back to work.