For the last few months, I have been working away at a new series for my upcoming show at SYNC Gallery in the Santa Fe Arts District in Denver. It’s been a bit of a press—more so than usual, because I had a show just six months ago. But I’ve stuck with it through all the chaos of painting with new pigment and to a new theme and been really pleased with the results.
Perhaps the most important thing to realize at this stage of the creative process, is that creativity takes Work, and Working has to start somewhere. It is not about being aimless or haphazard in our determination to go forward. We have to Work to bring our creative endeavors into tangible, palpable form, and that requires tenacity and the commitment to return again and again to the artistic problem we have chosen to solve.
But that can bring up Chaotic Mind Anxiety, which we have to feed appropriately through cultivating Order.
In his book Fearless Creating, Eric Maisel describes the inappropriate ways we might feed this anxiety:
- We create order by walling the work off.
- We create order by acting “as if” we were creating
- We create order by working on just a small corner of the work
- We create order by suffocating or limiting the potential of the work (143)
- choose from moment to moment and step by step the next thing you get to do on behalf of your creative work.
- be okay with saying “Yes” and “No” to whatever you choose and That’s good enough for now, in order to hold “provisional commitment” as a type of Working
- be kind to yourself, no matter what transpires
- shift and lower your expectations accordingly
- write up a Credit Report, listing all the things you have accomplished in your work