I went into my studio today, hoping to pick up on my creative energy from yesterday. Instead, I stalled out. I attempted to start a new piece but nothing was working. I tried to remember Sarah Ahearn’s words on creativity and ebb and flow:
“sometimes it’s just like that. on some days, it comes a lot easier. what i’ve learned is to just go with the flow. creativity ebbs and flows and ebbs and flows. i used to worry worry worry about this pattern, more specifically the ebb part, but these days it’s one of the things i’ve just learned to just let go of.”
Apparently, the ebb had won today. And the ebb called me to the floor. I laid down and spent some time staring at the ceiling, decided the studio was a bust today and went back upstairs.
It’s hard not to let my feelings of continued unemployment creep into my creative time.
Just as there is an ebb and flow to creativity, there is also an ebb and flow to the hopelessness I feel about finding a job. The longer I am unemployed, the more I wonder what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s a grand idea to think I’m supposed to be an artist. The problem is that, at this point, being an artist doesn’t pay the bills.
And of course, declaring myself an artist makes me extremely vulnerable. It’s hard not to feel like I’m setting myself up for failure.
From Jennifer Louden’s blog:
Art is where we expose ourselves, because in addition to being human, we really have no choice but to accept failure. And it’s failure (or the potential for failure) that creates art. When we talk about emulating the bodhisattva, we accept the risk that maybe we won’t touch anyone, won’t shed any light, won’t make a difference.
The only way to do art, real art, is to embrace that risk. To do less is to hide.