28 Apr ONCE YOU HAVE TURNED A TRIP IN TO AN ADVENTURE HOW DO YOU TURN AN ADVENTURE IN TO A PROJECT?
Before I move on and unveil more of our journey around IcelandI would like to explore the process of how I turned the experiences from the trip and this adventure in to an art project.
I have tried in earlier posts to explain how I have developed and continue to develop in my work as an artist and particularly as a creative person and I have done this because a term such as “artist” gets interpreted by everyone quite differently. Over the years I have used the term sparingly because of all the expectations that come with it. If someone hears you are an Artist, they usually want to know if you are famous or if you have seen the work of some other artists that they like or they will ask if you could draw a picture of their cat etc.
Being known as an artist is really quite daunting at times because there is always someone out there doing something better than me, more skilled than me and may be more interesting and hence why I find it so helpful to remember that we are all significant and we have to value our own work before we can expect anyone else to value it. This is once again where the significance of perspective plays an enormous role. There is an age old phrase that goes something like:
“One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure”.
Such a phrase expresses this need to value our own perspective primarily because we are all so unique. This term highlights that we do all see things through different lens’ and whilst one person may like something another person may not place any value on it all and that’s OK too. It’s especially Ok if we have kept at the forefront of our minds that we value something for reasons only we need to understand.
There was another term that I picked up during my undergraduate studies which also helped me accustom myself to the importance of truly valuing your own perspective. That term went something like this:
“A resource is only a resource when someone places a value on it”
This was introduced to me whilst trying to understand how landscapes had been developed around natural resources. However, more importantly it pointed out to me how manipulated we can be when we react to certain ideas just because a value has been placed on something more often by someone else. For example, Gold is deemed a precious metal but it’s not a metal that I particularly like or value I would go with Silver every time. Do you see where I am going? It’s all about perspective! Whilst Gold may have qualities that make it valuable it’s not as valuable in my opinion as copper, iron Ore or something like limestone and chalk that helps make and deliver my paints. But some would argue that Gold is a precious metal and potentially rare and thus it rates higher. Since I havegot in to this I checked it out to see if I was something and if I have got you thinking and you want to explore it check out https://www.hardassetsalliance.com/blog/why-is-gold-valuable-the-5-reasons-most-investors-overlook#.WoR4f4LLi8U. However, I am simply suggesting that Measures and Value Systems like these are subjective and relative. As usual I am thinking out loud and simply trying to break down in to manageable chunks how I have come to understand and accept why I do what I do and why I have justified and how I have managed my own creative development. I am wondering if you have started to notice that key to being creative is the finding that: “you can’t stop thinking and exploring WHY, HOW, WHEN and WHAT in your every day life”. From all this exploration comes new thinking and ideas and opportunities to interpret the world around us.
Why am I telling you this? -you may well ask! Well I am telling you because I am trying to give you an insight in to how an art project develops. It involves spending lots of time wondering Why? And equally huge amounts of time wondering How and Where and What? In addition, I spend time just giving things a go and exploring. I am talking about huge amounts of time over a huge amount of time, every day for many many years. I have this tremendous need to simply just dostuff to do with art. These are normal days and every day is like this. However, it does also involve huge amounts of worrying about a lot of mis-conceptions I have about what would constitute a proper day’s work. It never feels sufficient spending time finding and focusing on new sources of inspiration that may turn in to paintings, Og stories or Og textiles. I know that I am lucky because my husband has always supported me to do this and has helped to put in place lots of infrastructure to allow this to work.
In addition to my husband’s supportit has helped hearing about about other creative people. For example, I have huge respect and admiration for comedians and musicians. There have been a few occasions when I have gained a sense of justification that only comes from hearing about how other creative people work. Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Eric Morecombe, Nick Cave are examples that have stuck with me. I have heard their family and friends talk on radio of how they would “Go to the Office” every day to work. They would sometimes sit there and feel anxious that nothing would come from that time but a huge amount of discipline is required if you are to allow creativity and ideas to evolve. I cannot express enough how helpful knowing this has been because using creativity in your work is incredibly stressful, isolating and unnerving. What if you can’t capture something that you wanted to; what if an idea that seems amazing just doesn’t follow through or never reaches the public domain.
The reason why we discipline ourselves is because the key to all of this is the simple act ofdoing it. A painting will not develop if I don’t go to my studio and start it. I won’t get more experienced if I don’t do the work and make the mistakes and go off on tangents and start again and again and explore alternative techniques and ideas that looked so easy yet prove impossible. Yes my husband tells me he can see how hard I work and he appreciates what I do and can see the difficulty in quantifying the time spent just allowing creativity to flourish.
It is because of all these considerations that I am using this blog to turn a trip in to an adventure and an adventure in to an art project. But equally as important is my husband’s mantra that he has for me for those times when I notice that being an artist does not pay our bills. I say to him “It’s a proper job that pays the bills” and he says back to me “Just keep focusing on the process. Don’t think about the end result all the time, it’s the process that matters”. He is right. He is always right on matters like this. I try not to fall prey to painting just for money. It requires so much more than that to create work of any substance. Now that’s what makes me feel extraordinarily lucky knowing that my husband understands and keeps me keeping the right motivations at the forefront of my working practice.
Iceland-The project has already been a huge success for the same reasons. The support of the patrons who are behind it have the same motivation and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine having the support and backing of professionals who are more interested in the process than the financial gain to be had.
My patrons are hugely inspiring for their enthusiasm, their vision and altruism.
Thank you both,