I had the BEST conversation the other night with one of my artist friends, Rochelle Botello. I had been floundering lately about what sort of body of work I should do next. I had an idea about it, but I felt unsure about it until I spoke with her. She helped me to get back on track probably because she and I have such a similar art-making process.
Rochelle asked me some key questions about my new “idea” that made me see it all clearly, like what exactly was interesting to me about it, and I found that there wasn’t anything specifically interesting to me about it at all, and therefore, it was not a good enough idea for a whole body of work.
I realized, I was putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. And I was thinking too much about what would be interesting to display in a show instead of what was going to hold my own interest. It’s very important (for me) to be engaged in the painting process, and to also have fun – while also challenging myself. I work instinctively usually, so making such a plan before I had even started on painting one was not the way to go. The organic evolution usually takes form and I will inevitably create an entire body of work that will wind up looking good together – without thinking about it so much.
What was interesting to me about my idea was not the imagery itself, but the narrative behind it. I had been telling myself that I need to take out the narrative in my work because some people don’t like it, or I’m doing it too much, or blah blah blah. But I came to the conclusion that WHAT I will be painting is a lot less important than how I approach it. It’s a matter of trusting myself to pull it all together as I go along. I can’t stress enough how important it is to ignore all the self-doubt or outside validation in cases like this.
Therefore, I won’t be creating a body of work that resembles the forms I had in mind in the first place. Instead, I now can see the “look” is going to be entirely different if I address the story behind how the forms came to be. From there I can make the first piece, and that’s all that matters. Because the first will inform the next – and rather than a laid out plan, I will watch and discover what comes into being. THAT is more exciting to me than a plan.
So, rather than a laid out plan, I will watch and discover what comes into being.
Feeling revitalized. Thanks Rochelle. 🙂