Friday morning I wrote a post on Facebook and asked for feedback. A very interesting and helpful discussion ensued and it proved that you get what you need if you just ask. I shared that last week in particular I struggled with creative output. I had a sick puppy and I had work and I had responsibilities and when I thought about the time it would take to sit down and create, no matter how much I wanted to or needed to, that insidious little thought popped up like it always does: “what’s the point?”
Instead of sitting in my house alone wallowing in that specific brand of guilt and indignant martyrdom that one feels when they are eschewing their bliss in the name of Sacrifice, I widened the circle. I took to Facebook and asked if I was the only one. Of course I wasn’t. I am so grateful for that.
The puppy is better, nothing a little probiotics and medicine can’t fix, my routine is back to normal and my time and priorities are more in my control–for now. Yet, when I opened this site then looked at the list I brainstormed weeks ago of “blog post ideas,” I didn’t feel it. I didn’t want to write about any of those things. They sounded interesting then, but they just aren’t now. It felt like homework, and boring homework at that. It wasn’t fun or creative, it was busywork. Turns out that my priorities and responsibilities weren’t the problem; all is well and I still didn’t want to do anything.
Chuck Close, a painter known for his photo-realistic, monumentally sized paintings, was quoted in a book called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey as saying, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Show up and get to work.
The Artist’s Way would call this “filling the form.” Every day, do the next right thing. Not the next big thing. Not the big leap or the 5 year goal. Do the thing you can do right now. Today. Show up, get to work, fill the form.
Reading both of those perspectives is a kick in the pants for me. I’m notorious for becoming bogged down in the greatness and vastness and sacredness of Art. If my work isn’t everywhere, why should it be anywhere? Well, because it delights me. Because I love it. Because it’s fun.
Show up. Get to work. Fill the form. Every Day.
An artist is someone who makes art. An artist is someone who makes art. Makes–the verb. An artist’s definition lies in an artists action. So I’m going to do that. I’m going to make art every day. I don’t know what kind of art but I’m going to show up every day then I’m going to share it here so that I don’t find loopholes. It doesn’t count if at the end of the day I haven’t done anything and I think to myself “that sunset was pretty today, and I totally took time to notice it and thought about how dynamic the shapes of the clouds were, that totally counts.” No. Artists make art.
Maybe my art will be a blog post or a bullet journal entry. Maybe it’ll be a doodle or experiments in hand lettering, or maybe it’ll be a sculpture made with sticks found on my walks with Buck. Maybe I’ll learn something new, or find a new way of thinking about things. I don’t know! That’s the point.
The only rule is that I have to do something. If I only have a spare 5 minutes, then I will use it and I will be grateful for it. Today is day one, and I’m filling the form.