So the past few months I've been fretting. I haven't had much to show of my own work on this blog. It's because I've been busy ... playing. Developing new ideas can be incredibly challenging and frustrating. For me, it's a time issue. I hate thinking I wasted precious time not doing everything in my power to develop new work. We hunker down. We get serious. Who has time to play? This is where our problems begin. We need to allow ourselves playtime so that we're open to innovative and creative solutions.
|Brazil landgrab map in progress this week.|
Everyone's technique is different. I loved hearing Robert Ryman talk about what he does between his series ... nothing. He understands his creative process well enough to know that he shouldn't get in the way of it. And for him, that's to ignore it. Another artist who knows how to play is Hela Jongerius. But it looks like her play ends up as her final work.
|Non Temporary by Hela Jongerius, 2005.|
Over the past eight years, I've been able to really hone in on what makes my creativity work. I love challenges, but I like to approach them slowly. I know I needed to learn a new medium for this next series. I stopped fighting the voice in my head that said 'It will take too long to learn' and just got on with it. And what I made isn't great but it's a start. It's all about quantity at this point and thinking with my hands to understand a new medium. I'll talk more about that below.
|My very first six highly irregular and very bland pinch pot tea cups.|
The more I make, the better they'll be. At least, I hope so!
I gave myself the time to explore clay. I had no idea where I was going with this. My first ideas for my new series finally popped into my head last week but I'm not implementing them until January. I'm having fun just exploring.
|This is where I dared myself to use something other than Randall White glaze.|
Yes, that's hard for me!
If you have kids, watch them at play. This weekend we went to a friend's wedding. They rented a photo booth with props for photos for their guest book. Brilliant! The booth was unused for the first half hour until the kids figured out what it was. They weren't shy! The adults knew what it was but it was set up in plain sight of everyone! It was only after they had a few drinks did they start to loosen up and head over. That's my daughter on the left. Oh, and I made her dress last Tuesday. That was my play for that day.
Remember how I mentioned quantity and thinking with your hands? There's a great video on the importance of these points in play by designer Tim Brown. I love how the audience is forced to play, what better way to remember how to do it than to actually practice it. Watch it and feel yourself loosen up.
Give yourself some time each day to play. If you've had any revelations about your artwork while playing, I'd love to hear them!