Monday, March 08, 2010

Taking a moment to breathe and think

Wow so its all go at the moment. I'm just going to a mind dump here for my own future reference. Feel free to read and comment (comments are always good).

1. The shredder

This is up and running like a dream. I can't believe it is. Like most projects that are worth doing this one really stretched me. I have learned a lot about my own practice through this one, I will write and reflect more later, but the main thing is this project had that classic fight or flight moment. You know the one, you reach a point were it looks like whatever you are doing will never work and you wish you had a steady 9 to 5 job and bitterly regret ever calling yourself an artist. But I persevered and with the right help and support it is up.

2. Talks.
I have to do 2 x 1 hr talks this week one about the shredder and one about Datarama. I am trying to finish these off right now but I have plasterers/decorators round reaching the parts of my corridor a normal mortal cant reach. That wouldn't be so bad but they have local radio blasting really bad music..

3. Thinking about art.
I suppose this relates to the fight or flight moment again. Although most of my work probably fits into a conceptual category I still draw. I draw because it is an instant shortcut to good thinking for me. When drawing your not just thinking about balancing lines etc but the nature of what it is you are drawing, its relation to things you are not drawing and why you are doing it in the first place. I suppose for this reason I like some comic/graphic novel artists. These are people who draw compulsively, its like breathing to them. So it stands to reason that the good ones have something interesting to say.

Where am I going with this? well there is a journal I follow by Brandon Graham. In this post here he says something that was a lightbulb moment for me, "I was thinking, one of the things that can drag you down as an artist is thinking that it should get easy eventually. You think I`d know this but I always suprize myself at how it is always hard work." I have been very guilty of this thinking myself. I have become attached to the idea that I will get good at what I do.

So it might sound a bit far out but I think I am going to let go of this idea. The thought of not trying to be 'good' is a bit mind boggling and I suppose I should add the caveat that it does not mean that I will let the quality control slip but rather the idea that if I get good at what I do then it will get easier. Its a lot like being on a car journey with someone who is constantly asking "are we there yet?" After a wile it gets a bit irritating.


Rashmi said...

ah... the thoughts about art were... well... thought provoking. i feel that with my writing. (suffering from a head cold so may not be v coherent right now, but bear with me.)

to me, every time i start feeling more confident in my writing, i tend to produce sub standard stuff. it's the things that i don't put too much thought into that seem to flow... like it's not really coming from me, the ego, but from some creative space within me. i live in terror of losing sight of that place. in fact, the last couple of months, perhaps, i have lost sight of it. and so have not written anything for fear that it'll just plain suck.

i envy people to whom an art form is like breathing... i wish i were like that with my writing. alas... i remain caught in my own little web.

hope all's well with you...r

Dominic said...

Thanks Rashmi,

All is good, hectic but good. Hoping its the same your side of the stream.

Yea flow. I have a hunch that flow comes when you tap into something. I don't think the best ideas I have are in my head, I think they are already out there in the ether as it were. When I manage to zone out I can pick them up, like tuning a radio. That's why you get trends amongst artists, its not just the cold meme model but they are all picking up the same stuff. Its all a bit cosmic I suppose!

Rashmi said...

yes... that's exactly what i was trying to say. :-)

goes back to what i started believing some time ago, that there are no "original" ideas. you're very right about it being cosmic. it explains why human evolution seems to follow the same track despite populations being far apart and for all practical purposes isolated. be it art or even scientific discovery, it is about tapping into the collective unconscious. some good thoughts in here :-)