The quote seems to be attributed to Goethe but there seems to be some uncertainty.
The lessons have been coming full throttle. Last week was a true test of endurance or other skills which meant there were no drawings or posts for that matter. If I could have quit my paying work I would have but let's get real everything passes you just have to rise above it at the time.
This morning I had this amazing dream of abundance here with me that I had not recognized prior to that. After I sat up and the dream was remembered I sat down again and I wrote, and wrote, and wrote until I said all I could from the experience (I finally figured out after all these years that I need to keep a journal by my bed and a pencil because when I sleep I am accessing my creative source that I forget when I wake). After all of that, what I had on the paper was both an answer and a conclusion to a week that kept me from creating, a week of procrastination. My realization is this - The work of the book illustration is essentially done. Prior to that realization I kept thinking I have to get it done, why can't I get it done, what will the next page look like, how do I start, life is challenging, work is challenging, there's not enough time - That was all self doubting self talk. I woke up with a realization today that the work was essentially done, and the sitting down to do it is my practice, my reassurance that I can do this. It is not the work that is hard. It is believing in myself, unconditionally, every waking day. That's the work. My preparation to receive success is first to believe it is already here. Mind blown. For this realization I am beyond words eternally grateful.
Complacency comes when the challenge subsides. I see in everyday things that there are these moments of opportunity for creativity that are untapped, but the idea gets shelved for later in the order of priorities of what I should do now. An idea came yesterday when I took out the recycling (fortunately I had the presence of mind and availability of technology to photograph it as my reminder before removing it from the house), and yet another idea came this morning when I saw how I had scribbled out my name on a box that I had received weeks ago (I need to photograph that too). There is form and artistic expression in everything that we as consumers have consumed, are consuming; basically everything that touches human hands has our effect on it and so it speaks to us about our presence and impact as human beings. All my ideas are crashing into one another in creative ways that stop me in my tracks to take note. I will need a better system to address these ideas - since I can't do everything at once, and I can't yet support myself full time as an artist, and I have other commitments to honour and yet I know I must find a way to honour my creativity when it calls. The concern that has my attention daily is the need to follow through on the completion of the book. However, since I have made it a concern now and removed the joy of discovery it is harder to be creative with it. I know Aldo now, and his relationship with these letters, and I must find a way to keep each page fresh with the feeling of discovery so that the reader will feel that too. Perhaps my answer is in the bits of daily inspiration that I am seeing. Prior to today as I became hung up on each page of illustration I was seeing those moments of inspiration outside of the illustration work as separate from it. In my mind the illustration work was for someone else and the other ideas I was shelving were for me and the work that would satisfy my own creative curiosity, but maybe the two things are one. When I gather children's books for illustrations as research for my own process what intrigues me is the innovation I see in other illustrator's thinking. Now that I have addressed this illustration for today I think I will keep this new merging of purpose between illustration and "Fine Art" expression in mind as I go about my day. I have come to understand subconscious mind as creative mind, working out our answers when we set our intention on a challenge and then just relaxing or shifting the focus from solving instead to "sleeping on it" as the saying goes. There are enough examples of inventors who have achieved their greatest answers in this way. This has always worked for me with questions both big, and small. The conscious mind over thinks, where the resting reflective mind just calmly responds with knowing the right thing to do...As I go back to read over this post the answer came to take those photos out on my "camera roll" and create a catalogue of visual notes to keep visible in my creative work space. I am interested now to see how one thing influences another. At this point I don't think I need to look for more answers outside of myself. I just need to put all my pieces together.
Both of these paintings were completed in March, but I revisited them last night as well. I felt that I wanted these pieces to exude joy. To do so I needed to create the effect of greater energy. I was feeling it and wanted the painting to express that too. In all the paintings I reworked last night I could see the effect I wanted to achieve before painting it in a confident clarity I hadn't had before, but still there were creative surprises so it wasn't an exact copy of what I was seeing with my mind's eye. The creative work...the process of doing, always holds surprises for the artist if they are willing to take the creative risk. Titles - Pink Poise and Summer Sun. Both are for sale in the online store section.
The days ahead are simply to do the work. I have set up my direction, mapped out the manuscript, done the preliminary sketches, established my work space, materials of choice and creative process long in advance. Then I set it aside for every manner of experience that came in between related to establishing the website to create an audience for the process and to build an online storefront for my work as an artist. It's easy to get caught up in the overwhelming feeling of how much there is still to do, and shifting back to a momentum where I had left it. I will place my attention on just creating this weekend, and trust that each single step is moving the project forward successfully. I think the challenge becomes one of clearing mental space for the nature of the work ahead when that space has been so full of divergent activity up to this point. That feeling now is similar to the end of my work year in teaching - a challenging transition when abruptly changing pace from busyness to stillness. Putting on the brakes has such an impact on a body and mind that has been consumed by working against timelines, battling learning curves, late nights, and pushing out of comfort zones at an accelerated pace. I think the quote above simply means address the pressing concern by just facing it, move it forward in importance by doing it, and putting aside all the anticipation of what needs to be done. I once heard, but don't recall the source of this idea (I have been doing a lot of concentrated learning on realizing my potential so this learning was somewhere along the way), that 'when we focus on the past - we live in regret, when we focus on the future live in worry, but when we focus on the present moment there is no place for regret or worry just attention for what is in front of you.' We can only affect change from where our thoughts and actions are in the present. I will clear my agenda of all things this weekend and just set a page in front of me and work. I will realize my potential by paying attention to my creativity now.