One year ago. I felt that my artwork sucked. Really, it just wasn’t very good. Others kindly would have argued with me, but I knew. I didn’t feel like I was making anything for me. I’m not sure who I was creating art for, since I wasn’t selling much. I was left with art that no one else was clamouring for and I found no delight in. It’s no surprise I was in a funk.
I knew I needed to change it all.
So, I took a baby step. I pulled out my old copy of The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. I had never completed all the excercises in the book, but I felt really strongly about the “daily pages.” Writing everyday, about my work, about anything has always been helpful. So, I started. I didn’t expect miracles. I just believed I could find my inspiration, my new direction, my true direction by quietly “puking on paper” every day. I felt like a hoarder who grabbed a shovel and had finally decided to hire a dumpster or two. I would be brave. I was going to junk the junk and find the treasures. It was going to take awhile. But I knew I couldn’t expect to come up with a fresh approach with a head full of old, outdated crumpled up, not worth saving, really foul smelling garbage hogging the space.
As the days went by, I faithfully excavated through old ideas and bad rules I had set up for myself. I tumbled towers of “I want my art to look like this or that.” I swept the floor of dust ball demons that had swirled in my head since childhood. I was really feeling good.
Writing the morning pages were like slowly tossing out a pile of crap each day. Once I began the process I stopped adding to the clutter. Immediately ridding my brain of “junk thoughts” and cleared some more. Fresh air was circulating.
Where before I had been traversing a narrow path, back and forth to my studio, now I could see the horizon. And no longer muffled by walls of refuse, I could hear the tiny tune of my muse singing to me. Every day it grew clearer. I felt that I was hearing the song of my soul. The original song I was given, that began when I began and won’t end until I do. She’s been singing all this time and I finally listened. I began to hear the lyrics to my song and I wrote them down.