My Creative Journey

I've been feeling a bit out of focus lately. I thought once the kids got older and started driving themselves everywhere, doing their own laundry, and needing less of me that there would be this parting of the clouds fanfare in the event of my finally having more time to focus on my creative pursuits. Angels would sing and suddenly I'd know exactly what I needed to do and exactly how to do it. 

Instead I feel like I've become the kid. Look at this! Look at that! I should make this! I need to work on that! My head is jerking in all directions and I rarely complete things because something else grabs my attention. I used to dream of the day I would concentrate all of my energy on pursuing my artistic voice. Following one idea into another and building upon something that wouldn't be quite clear just yet, but would develop into this thing that would be undeniably ME. My life's work. My purpose!

When I sit down at my desk, focus gets lost at the sight of piles of unfinished ideas. I really need to finish these things. Finish them or move on from them (toss them in the trash). Get it off my desk! But a lot of them are really kind of great - Like the paper surfboard name cards that sit in the groove of a wave engraved into a round disk of wood. I still need to sand the wood prototypes and finish printing/cutting all the designs. Have some revisions to make on my Cricut file. Then photograph them and decide what my price needs to be, which involves making a batch and keeping track of time and materials. After running through all these steps, every single morning when my gaze drifts to the row of paper surfboards, I become exhausted and scroll Instagram instead.

(Am I too old to pursue my artistic voice??? When I was young I had the energy, but not the ideas. Now I have the ideas and lack the energy. But, no. Let's not think like that...)

I just need something that's going to keep me on track. So I want to start posting blogs again to build a visualization of this meandering journey. The other day I updated my portfolio and it gave me a perspective I wasn't seeing before. As the maker of all these things, in the thick of the creative and production process, it's hard to see all the work as a whole.

In my head I'm nothing, the work is nothing. It's all just a pile of stuff I wasted too much time making. But after scrolling through my now updated portfolio (which I hadn't done since 2021) I could see, with my own two eyes, a clear representation of some amount of progress! I needed to see that! I needed to be reminded that I'm not making the same thing I was making 20 years ago. I've always believed the creative process leads to something I can't quite identify from the start. These things need to be developed, they need to take me on a journey in order to see what's to become. I couldn't see it yet because there were still other things that needed to be made or explored in order to recognize it.

I'm not saying I'm there yet. In fact, I never want to be there. I want to spend the rest of my life wandering along the creative path, building my artistic perspective, and consistently creating new things. I will die happy if I die in the midst of this pursuit. I never want to be done! But at least now I feel like - Oh, okay, I can see this is leading somewhere. I'm not actually still sitting in the same spot I began. I don't know why I thought I was. Of course it's silly, but I needed the reminder.

In college I worked in a biology lab cleaning glassware and ordering supplies. Scientists in white coats would carry lab books swollen with crinkled, handwritten  pages. I loved those. I was obsessed with the discipline and dedication that went into filling those books up in the pursuit of discovery. I wanted a lab book for myself, but for my life. I wanted to fill the pages with the results of trying new things and making discoveries of my own about art and music and movies and anything that caught my interest. Science didn't stick for me, but those lab books did. I guess that's what sketchbooks became for me. I haven't carried around a sketchbook in years. I love my iPad, but there's nothing to flip through when I'm in a creative slump. Maybe this blog can become my lab book/sketchbook?

I'm not quite sure what these blog posts will be. I expect they will develop organically, over time, just like the artistic process. Just like filling up a lab book. (As long as I stick with it, that is.) It seemed like too personal a journey to unfold on Instagram - And I want the freedom to type away to my heart's content. If you're reading this, which I can't imagine anyone finding, but, nonetheless, welcome. I hope it's somewhat interesting. Until I hash it out, it's experimental. I just need a record. I need to see where I came from so I can figure out where I'm going. I need accountability. I need discipline. Here we go.



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