do it. create. walk and see. cut and paste. scratch and sniff.
do whatever you have to do to feed your soul.
this is my commitment.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

knowing when to say when

So this is a frequent topic of discussion in art and creativity - knowing when to say "when".

I believe this topic to have as many variations as experience AND
I believe it takes a lot of showing up, every day, in order to find one's truth around this.

I have found mine.  This doesn't mean it won't ebb and flow and perhaps turn upside down tomorrow.  But for now, there are usually three scenarios I experience regularly, all signs to me that I need to say "when" (for the time being)....

Before entering my studio, I first need to access my energy AND inspiration.  True: unless I show up (with painting clothes on and paintbrush in hand) I am not clear if this exists for me or not.  For instance, this morning I thought I was excited to start painting in my studio: I had "an idea".   This can be really exciting.  Once I had dabbled around a bit, I noticed the spark had left.  All of the sudden the painting seemed like work that HAD to be done.  This is my first clue to stop and shift into something else for the time being.  Doing the dishes, calling a friend, or doing a load of laundry works well for me when I find myself here.

Other times, in the midst of creative flow, I may find myself working on a piece that is really coming together in the moment and then, in an instant, out of nowhere, I find myself stuck.  All of the sudden, I am thinking too much, thinking about where to put my brush next or what color to use.  This usually begins to happen after several hours of continuous creative flow and when this happens, I take a long walk.

There are also times when I complete a piece or several in one, long work period.  Sometimes during these surges, I forget to eat and I lose track of time.  These are those experiences that I "jones" for, those natural endorphins are in full force.  These times are so zen-like.  I want to create them over and over again.  In this instance I find myself trying to re-create something out of selfish reasons - so that I can re-feel those feelings.  This never works.  When this happens I have learned to take my painting clothes off, clean up and re-commit to another activity for the day.  I meet a friend, run errands, do those things on my to-do list that need to get done, etc.

I'd love to hear how other creatives know when to say when.  I hope that the artist interviews I will include here every Wednesday will give us more answers to this ever-interesting topic of discussion.

For now, here is another blog post about knowing when to say when.

Have a great day, Everyone!

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