I’ve gotten some really good questions in my classes in the past week or so, and I thought I’d share a few of them here, in case this resonates with anyone who might read it here too.
When it comes to making art, do you ever feel lost?
I do. Often. And it can be an emotional journey when I feel that, but I also find that there’s comfort in the acknowledgement of uncertainty. There are ups and downs in the process at times. Sometimes I feel an amazing sense of awe and wonder in that lost state, and other times the wondering is about what I’m even doing or who am I to be making what I’m making. But when I feel this, I try to remember that I admire and adore the openness and vulnerability in others. When I experience others speaking vulnerably about their feelings and experiences, I find it to be just so beautifully human and pure. And courageous, especially in a world that doesn’t really encourage that. And I think, yes, this is what we need. And when I remember that, I remember why I will always continue to do what I do, and in its essence, to do it in the way that I do it; humbly and with integrity. Proud to be aware that feeling lost is an important part of who I am as a human being, and that feeling lost isn’t a bad thing at all. I just try to remain open to always learning from it, and to understand that it’s just a part of what makes us human. We have to trust those feelings of seeming lost and work our way into the found. To have faith in ourselves, and faith in what the world may not see for us yet.
Do you make it a point to work in this exploratory way every day?
Yes, I do. Because, to me, it’s a chance to experience a letting go and diving into the self-aware state that I’m/we’re all rooted in. I feel that if I don’t give myself the chance to go there in some way, it gets eclipsed by the busy-ness of so much of the rest of life. So, do I make it a point to? Well, yes and in fact, I’ve made it so much of a point that it’s evolved into the very nature of how I make my art and how I go about many other things too. Do I do it every day? Yes, and though it’s a form of continuity to practice something daily, it reminds me to experience life as a continuity based on the freshness of every moment. There is still the daily practice of it, but inside that, it opens my awareness to the eternal present that exists in every changing moment of experience. To be honest, at this point I think I’d say that I really haven’t found that I need to make it a point to do it every day. It’s just a part of who I am and so it is in my every day.
How do you know when you’re finished with a piece?
It really comes down to a feeling, most of all, and whether it’s remained in alignment with what I feel is my voice and vision. The feeling of it being finished is not something that is always the same. There can be all sorts of things that combine to form that, from technical aspects to mood and emotional quality to the articulating a story that unfolds during the making of it, but when it all comes together, it feels finished, like a settled sort of energy in an answer to the searching of when I was making it, and it feels at home with my story and purpose. Also, I’ve noticed that in that feeling of it being finished, a lot of times, there’s a sense of wanting to share it with others. So if I’m uncertain about whether it’s finished, but I’m feeling I want to share it with someone, that can often be my answer right there. Or at least it means that it’s close. 🙂
I think it’s because of the nature of how I work that leads to these kinds of questions, but no matter whether your process may differ or is similar, I hope my answers to these questions lead to some helpful insight.