Friday, 1 April 2011
seed pod, illustration, Kylie Budge
One really nice thing about doing a PhD is I get to do a lot of reading. I mean this is how I'm supposed to be spending my time for the next 3 years, right?
A recent find has been a collection of essays in a book called Learning Mind, Experience into Art by folk connected to the School of Art Institute of Chicago. There's some very thought-provoking stuff in there about art, art schools, the art market, galleries, and the like.
One piece by Jerry Saltz (art critic for NY Magazine) called What Art is and What Artists Do has this great bit about persistence.
"Work comes from work," Bruce Nauman said. Artists: the number one thing is work. You have to work in times of doubt, in good times, bad times - work. In a way, you don't do your work. Can you pick your style? It partly picks you. There are certain things you decide, but certain things you don't. In a way, art is working through you. In a sense, you don't exist; your art exists. So you have to get out of its way and work. (p 30)
Now ain't that the truth? I think about the need for persistence a lot. It's a hard, but oh-so-pleasurable grind, the creative gig. When I'm having a difficult patch I get out the pencils or inks or whatever and just try to play. No pressure. No end product required. Just pure play. Some good music on, a pot of tea nearby and some time to just see where the ink takes me.
Any strategies you use to 'get out of the way' of creativity and 'let it work'?
PS. something amazingingly honest on this topic I discovered the other night in twitter-ville.