Art and Process

I am a Facebook friend with a dedicated and giving artist who got me thinking about  process and creativity. This week she posted:

“I believe process, and an awareness of process, are two of the most important tools a creative person can have. With an understanding of our own process we can start to tweak it in productive ways, removing bad habits and building in good habits which will help us achieve the artistic goals we’ve set for ourselves.

Knowledge of our own process allows us to understand ourselves clearly, without camouflage.”

Reading this shed a light about process and where I am strong and where I need to spend more time. What initially came to my mind was how I need some structure to help me engage in any kind of art making daily. I am starting a class that is about sketchbook drawing in public. Every day the class will be asked to draw something. I want to watch myself as I re-shuffle the “have to do other stuff” list so I have time to draw. I need to figure out how to fit a drawing assignment into a day when my exasperated inner voice says “I am too busy to do this.” Working in art is exactly what I need on days like that.

I think this is a realistic goal. Any habit that I form has to take place in the midst of life. I can go off for a week to a retreat (always nice, someone making all the food and taking care of me while I just create) but then how much of that do I bring back into my life when I return? Sometimes if I am lucky and very careful, I can bring back a lot. When we actually learn how to do something in the midst of life we can all see immediately where the stress points, sticking points, and our own resistance come into play. There is no hiding!

This is after all, one aspect of process. And it’s also about finding how much we value our creative self and setting it as a priority over the other things on the to-do list.

Thanks for reading!