outflows and inflows of creativity

Monday, August 13, 2007

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Some days, this business of doing art seems like an incredibly high mountain. You climb up a ways, straining and clawing, and reach a small ledge, only to discover it is shallow and precariously unstable. you take a deep breath, rest a bit, and continue on. Sometimes you climb effortlessly. Sometimes you slide backwards more than you ascend. Rain comes down, sleet, searing sun and constant wind. Do not lose sight of the peak, don't look down - keep climbing, carefully but confidently.
There is a hiker, Scott Williamson, who has walked 3200 or so miles on what in hiker terminology is called a yo-yo trek - you go a distance then follow your steps back. The hardest part is reaching your destination and then making that long, arduous journey back. When asked how he psyches himself to do this he replied that he creates micro goals. He will set his sights on a tree or a rock, and upon reaching that destination will choose another, so forth and so on. Eventually he makes the journey.
Such is the life of an artist. It is not a life without great joy - there is an indescribable high that is better than any drug when you create a work that resonates with your soul. That is the mountaintop. it can only be attained through much thankless struggle and hard work, sliding down then gaining purchase.
I guess what I'm trying to say in all this is follow your inner vision and creativity no matter how improbable or impossible it may seem. You must. To do less is a crime against the only one that matters - your self. As Scott so aptly put it, "Follow your dreams, keep at it, eventually you'll arrive there."
(photo courtesy of Claudia)

4 comments:

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Ryan Haigh said...

harriett, thank you very much for your comment on my blog, comments such as yours are very encouraging and i appreciate it.

Ebb Tide said...

It's true that art is better than drug. When I went through a devastating hearing loss, I picked up my my brushes and painted again. Painting helped me forgot my problem. I lived in fantasy through my paintings but it helped me moved on.