Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unfinished Business

I am awash in uncompleted projects, unfinished tasks and unresolved ideas. My bulletin boards are layered in sketches and design notes. Although the computer looks benign in fact it is the digital equivalent of an OCD recluse's home overflowing with scraps of paper dating back 30 years. My studio closet is vomiting its load of supplies and fabrics into the room. All available surfaces have been employed to hold half finished projects. OK I exaggerate slightly but only slightly. The feng shui around these parts isn't very good.

I could look at this as the physical manifestation of a mind that doesn't quite know what it wants to do next... so many bright and shiny objects...and that would be a version of the truth. I do want to do it all and I haven't wanted to settle down or make any firm decisions.

Lately I feel smothered by it all ... this I think is a signal that I am entering a new stage in my artistic recovery. I grow weary of all this dithering and crave some closure, a firm direction to follow.

It has only been recently that I have felt confident enough to refer to my artists block in the past tense. This little milestone crept into my life without my notice. These days the ideas come fast and furious and I often catch hold of one or two and do something with them. Sometimes it develops sometimes it don't but the "don'ts" don't keep me from trying again.

For a long period of time I could function well in a class but I was unable to set my own goals. I honestly didn't have a clue what I wanted to do, I needed someone else to set assignments for me or I just didn't function. It got so bad at one point that I noticed I had even stopped doodling I was so afraid I'd get it wrong somehow.

I finally committed to going back to school at night for computer skills. Enrolled in a Visual Communications program I did well but once again when the classes ended I floundered unsure of my direction. Completing a full course of study did give me some confidence though because this time I resolved to put my efforts into figuring out what I wanted to do with the old creative impulse. I've spent some years now relearning how to play, how to value what I can do, and how to start connecting with others in the great big world. I've also developed some trust in my ability to nurture my artistic self. I am by no means done. I figure I am functioning at about 15% of my potential*

So I'm looking at this mess with new eyes. It is there to help me sort out the question"what do you want to do?" I have an inkling and as I sort physically I will sort mentally and see what I find when I'm done

* estimate based upon number of hours spent killing brain cells with video games and TV


jude said...

this is a wonderfully honest post and all too familiar. patience works for me. and that blue egg is the only blue i could say i like as much as indigo. now there are 2 perfect blues.

alsokaizen said...

hi Jude
Paitience will be needed to sort it out, sadly not my strong suit :)
I love that robin egg blue too so delicate

ACey said...

this post has resonated with me very powerfully - I have come back and read it three or four different times now. Thought I should let you know. Also thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I am trying to understand how my brain works so that I can work WITH it more effectively ... sigh.

Anonymous said...

i can empathize with you on this one. i think this is a fairly common dilemma for many artists-
figuring out the "right" path.

for me often when i'm feeling this way my best solution is to start cleaning out the studio. organizing always makes me feel better (and more in control) even though i'm not!

alsokaizen said...

Yep its the path I think I have to take for this moment, clearing, ordering, and organizing a physical space can really help me to organize my brain too