As an artist I often struggle to embrace the messy side of creativity.
I love creating—whether that’s an acrylic painting on canvas, ink on watercolor paper, or some other medium. The challenge for me comes from the need to have things turn out exactly as I envision. Which is often unlikely. Hence my frustration.
This semester I’m taking a class called The Creative Process, which as the name suggests is all about what happens while creating something. Our instructor was very clear—”I care zero about outcomes in this class,” she declared. “You don’t get points for the finished product, I’m only interested in your process.”
We looked at the work of artists like Tim Knowles who paints with trees (yes, literally tree branches), and Andy Goldsworthy who allows rocks and snow to define his pieces. We even looked at David Bowie’s creative process in all it’s unconventional glory.
The task was simple—let go of outcomes and give yourself over to the process.
Scary, but potentially freeing(?)
Whenever I set out. to make or do anything, I’m usually obsessed with the outcome; where this experience is leading me; the end goal. I don’t
think I pause enough to really be present in the experience and all it entails.
It is for this reason that I am most looking forward to the class. It is my hope that this course will not only force me to be present in the experience of making art; but that this will also encourage me to be present in all areas of my life—which, incidentally is one of my themes for this year.
And so it comes full circle. Like it always does.