As such, I am here at the start of this new sketchbook, this new online blog, and even this new calendar year with enough misgivings about the way that my artistic process has been holding firm to habits which no longer serve me that I am willing (and perhaps even eager) to try something new...
For me, "un-comfortable" means not necessarily knowing as much as I would like to before I begin a process about how (or even IF) the product will turn out. It means risking messing up and,
it means risking having feelings about the subsequent mess.
Last term, I told my elementary school aged students the story of how I "faked" the process work for every art project that I was assigned throughout high school and well along into my third year of an undergraduate degree in Fine Art. I explained that it had never even occurred to me at that age how anything other than my first idea could possibly be ok, let alone 'better'. It seemed ridiculous to spend any time working through options or researching possibilities because not getting it right the first time meant that I was absolutely doing something wrong; not just with my art, but in relation to how life in general was 'supposed' to go.
At first they were just really impressed and amused by the technical details regarding how I got away with this for 8+ years of education. What I hope they actually took home with them though - and the reason that I was telling this story in the first place - is the simple fact that I did very little growing as either a person or an artist until I was able and willing to become MORE comfortable with the vast multitude of things that I did not know... Until I was willing to stock pile a whole big messy list of things that didn't work in the service of discovering some beauty-full unexpected amazingness at the exact unlikliest moment.
Until I was willing to have faith.
Ironically, I have become SO comfortable with the necessity of my artistic process over the 10+ years since that time that I find myself now in what feels an equally stagnant sort of faith-less-ness. Not so much about whether or not I SHOULD engage in process work anymore, and more about what will happen if I don't do it as exactly, as precisely, as carefully measured and as extensively as I have become accustomed to in the interim.
and feels different to be sure,
but what it all seems to boil down to,
WHAT IF MY BEST ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH?... what then?
That being said,
there is one very different thing that has become apparent to me in those 10 years which makes this part of the journey only similar and never exactly the same;
I am ok with messing up.
It still sucks to admit it and it is still not a comfortable place to begin (again), BUT - at the age of 33 I am now pretty damn sure that the sky is not going to fall if I lack clear and distinct direction for a week or two or more. As such:
This new sketch book and this new year will here-by bring more drawing, less thinking, and more rather hastily edited musing in this new blog!
This series of recent blue-line sketches that I cannot yet explain or make any translatable sense of.
They feel like the start of a story that I need to tell
and for this time now,
that is indeed enough...