Category Archives: Creative Process

Art Making is a Risk

When you make something, you risk living with the knowledge of your own assessment. Is it good? Is it worthwhile? Does anybody freaking relate to it or care?! The answer is sure to be no as often as yes. The thing you make might be mediocre, useless and ignored by all who know you. Who wants to grapple with that? If avoiding feelings is your number one priority, don’t make anything.

Uh, oh! There’s a problem. Not making art is also risky. You might have to confront the feelings you have about creating nothing and always turning outward for access to interesting stuff.

Art making puts you in direct conversation with your hopes and expectations. That’s some risky business right there because you might not be satisfied with the outcome. But who cares when the process is so fun! Of all the perilous things you could do, making art is the least outwardly consequential. There are no art police, there are no art laws. It’s great territory for private indulgence in extravagant, showy, badass behavior. It’s where you attempt to impress your self over and over. When you succeed, Woah! It feels good! It becomes the thing that makes sense of everything senseless, creating an antidote to the horrors of reality. It’s the vast void from which you conjure the tangible like a medieval wizard. It’s sure to happen if given enough time, space and respect. Personally, I find regular indulgence in the creative process the most satisfying way to know myself and generate love for the world.

All the expectations you encounter, all the self-assessments you give and receive, they can be useful. Mediocre art is always the first step to good art. Useless art is only a breath away from becoming treasure. You can and will find someone who relates to your offering, but only if you have one to give.

Be a delinquent in your art practice. Thumb your nose at whatever you disdain in your art practice. Be wild and daring and reckless in your art practice. Be risky where the reward is greatest and the consequence the least onerous. Otherwise pay your bills on time and call your mother. Everything in its time and place.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Darkroom timer with peanut butter; a domestic still life

This post is all about the image. What do you think might have contributed to forming this particular arrangement? Consulting with husband, it was not intentional, three items on their way from one location to another, temporarily congregating together like boarders on different flights might mingle briefly at a magazine stand.

We were doing a bit of winter decluttering. This location had formerly been taken up with a wooden shelf warehousing dried legumes, still uneaten since early pandemic hoarding. Next to it was another filled with empty boxes, across from one holding all our CDS. Is it relevant to point out we don’t have a CD player? There is also a room divider hiding things I don’t even want to know about. The entire hallway had been reduced from a two-person thoroughfare to a one way only path. What is the point of that? Would you take the narrowest part of your home, the one most traveled, and constrict the flow? We’re constantly colliding into and inching around each other. A great way to increase irritation in case you’re needing more of that.

So, fixing this stupidity was the first thing that happened. Suddenly there was space again. The food shelf moved to the kitchen and kicked this cool 60’s relic out into the hallway, probably on its way to the garage. The darkroom timer was playing the role of ready-made sculpture on top of another cramped shelf in the dining room/office and it and everything else got cleared off in a minimalism frenzy. It’s also on its way to the garage.

The peanut butter is the real problem. Can it go to the garage? I can’t throw it away; I don’t want to eat it. It’s basically here in case of the apocalypse. It got placed on the lower tier while we decide where it’s going to live. Please don’t let it get behind the hallway room divider and start having promiscuous, unprotected sex with the harem of unused frames hiding there. Thank goodness inanimate objects can’t breed or we would be overrun with sticky rectangles.

Tagged , , , ,