No, I tell my artist self.
Because it is one thing to perform research in all the right places, and be persuaded by reason, and keep the pragmatic pole in the ground, and plan to make things that will be well-received. Normality, you could call it. Sanity, even. Relational aesthetics, maybe.
But here is what happened to this maker while wondering the questions of the Creative Process part One: As I sat in my car on a cold, dark early morning waiting for a manager to let me into the store so I could stack new releases on shelves, I typed a few meager words into my droid’s search engine. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but page 160-165 of Theories of Modern Art: a Source book by artists and critics, by Herchel Browning Chipp, and Peter Howard Selz. Those two men did not so much write, as compile, and page 160 and forward contained the initials of its author, one W. K., who reminded me, ” The fearful clinging to one form leads finally and inevitably into a dead end….the spirit creates one form and goes on to others”.
This was the bothersome fin, waving hard in the depth of my watery soul. These words, and they surfaced in a pre-dawn surfing expedition. Because this is how you process creatively, by quantum leaps, by questions, by technology, by getting up with the alarm and sitting in the dark; random and arbitrary on the surface but connected to a great sea creature underneath.
Dead end? Boy howdy, my work was there alright. Tell me, W.K., tell me please how to get out of this cul-de-sac.
Content and form, the soul and the body, Wassily Kandinsky says. Your inner need compels you to use whatever means necessary, under the pressures of time and space, to create and re-create matters of spirit, of feeling.
The world resounds. It is a cosmos of of spiritually acting human beings. So dead matter is living spirit.
Yes, it is!
Here is your question, Kandinsky says:
Which form shall I use in order to arrive at the necessary expression of my inner experience?
That, that was what set my heart free and on fire when I read it for the first time. Some of you were around me when it happened. Some of you looked on amused while I journaled furiously and wrangled heavy clay monsters in and out of kilns. So happy I am to be reminded of what I already learned, but forgot!
The process. It works if you work it (…so work it, cause you’re worth it).
To my compatriots repetitively, fearfully pumping out the same form: find your question. I send my love to you all.