Cool It Now... You Got To Slow It Down.
What do you do when you're forced to a halt in your creative process? When you can no longer see or even decide what the next step will be?
I left the studio early last night after having gone round after round trying to create a dress that just wouldn't fit my assistant properly. Again, I'm a sewing and pattern-making newbie with only a few months under my belt, and so I don't usually see in advance, if I'm steering towards common mistakes that someone who has been formally educated in this craft would avoid. But I'm okay with this because it's fun to learn as I go, and despite those moments when I can feel the demons tonguing the inside of my ear teasing me to quit, I try not to, but instead, stop for a moment and then revisit what I've done later with new eyes.
Last night however, I had to be urged into it by my assistant who told me that when she encounters creative block, that she puts her brush down, and takes a break.
I know this is something that many artists do, I do this myself, but when I'm swept away by the motions that come with trying to resolve a creative issue, I move into a place of obsession, and stay there for longer than I probably should.
I'm realizing that not everything needs to be done in a day.
However, I think being a commercial artist has trained me to believe that it does.
I have a very good gauge of how long it takes for me to execute an illustration, which is important to know because respecting time, and understanding how something so organic can all of sudden morph into something so concrete can be the difference between professional longevity and career suicide. The work that I do as an Illustrator is only one link in a chain of many who come together to create a final product; the editors, the creative directors, the art and design directors, the producers, the advertisers, and the account managers are only some of a long list of those who are involved in the creation and distribution of an illustration.
It can be challenging then, for me to relinquish this need to move forward so quickly, too quickly, in the midst of creative block. Sometimes when I'm too close to something, it's tough to see clearly.
When I arrived to the studio early this morning, I took a moment to quietly organize what needed to be done, and reminded myself of how much I can do today.