Oh now I've done it! I am actually writing a post on The Creative Process, excuse me a moment while I snarkily laugh at myself from a safe distance. There are plenty of books, essays, online classes and TED Talks all concerning The Creative Process; surely, they articulate the subject better than I could ever hope to. Still, here we are!
There are also a good many interesting quotes on process and I may share a few with you, but what has to be my all time favorite quote on the subject was one I happened to overhear.
Once upon a time, I was strolling through the art museum. I noticed 2 scruffily natty young men on a bench with their sketchbooks out having what seemed to be an impassioned conversation. As I walked closer to the bench to view a painting, an amazing looking woman in a caftan, turban, blood red lipstick and a silver cobra headed walking cane ( She looked about in her 70s) stepped next to the young men and stared at the painting in front of her. When she began to move on, she looked at the men and said, "Oh for Pete's sake, just shut up! You creatives are forever yammering on about the Creative Process! Your self important gobbelty gook is interrupting my enjoyment of this lovely painting, and besides, no one gives a flying fart!"
Still, there is something to it, this process business, and at the moment I seem to be in the thick of it. The thick and slow like molasses of it. It all starts with a tiny seed of an idea. Sometimes that seed sprouts quickly and makes it's way to a full fledged project right away. Other times, it takes ages for that seed to germinate. That's where I am at right now. I have this personal year-long project in my sights, but I am making my weaving way stumbling through it all.
I find myself walking into my studio picking up the strangest pieces, working on the small, the details, creating laborious techniques, exploring funny ideas. It's about textures and color and...I don't even know yet.
I have been "staining" fabric with fabric paint. Sort of like dying, but using paints and small individual pieces so that all are completely unique. Sewing in multiple layers, examining both the "right" and "wrong" sides of things. Then there is the rest of my work time, spent staring at the walls and ruminating.
Indolence, of course, is an absolutely crucial part of the creative process: you do not find poets sitting in rows in cavernous word factories, staring at screens. They are rather to be found lolling on the sofa or strolling through the groves, nursing their melancholic temperaments and losing themselves in extended reveries.
All of this is getting in the way of things I should be making; a quilt for a baby that is on the way, pants for my daughter, tutorials for the blog... Yet, I am compelled and consumed. All the while not having a clue where this is ultimately leading. Ok, I have a tiny clue.
Most of the little business I have been playing with will be thrown out, part of the learning curve, part of the process. I do find myself frustrated and impatient from time to time, but I can't hurry and I can't wait.
I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, but it is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but the next day there is an idea. I find that incredibly exciting and conceptually actually remarkable.
Mirriam - Webster:
pro·cessnoun \ˈprä-ˌses, ˈprō-, -səs\
: a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result
: a series of changes that happen naturally