1.30.2009

12 Secrets: Surrendering to Cycles

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: Secret 4
Surrendering to Creative Cycles


This week, McMeekin addresses creative cycles: What are they? How do we survive the Void? She also asks us to examine what our own creative cycles are like, what we do to feed them and figure out our flow.

So after after stewing on the information for a few days, I was able to solidify a few observations. Firstly, I do notice definite cycles--weeks of heavy dreams, inability to fall asleep because ideas are swimming laps in my psyche, and prolific productivity in the studio. When these things wain to a less manic level, I like to read interesting texts about things that aren't art, see strange films, find odd photographs, thumb through image heavy coffee table books, discover new and exciting music or attend openings or showings in my city. Travel is an inspirational power food. For me, traveling is similar to experiencing your first Aloe and Ginger smoothie: it fills you up, tickles your fancy, treats you with something unexpected and is ultimately refreshing.
"Stocking Self Portrait" by Molly Roberts. Mixed Media 2008. Click for a larger view.

Though most often, I find surviving The Vacuum isn't the problem. (That's what I've titled my Void.) My issue is trying to focus on one idea at a time. I get pulled in the direction of plays and then fashion design and then "Ooh! that's new!", flipping through design magazines and grumbling,
"$4,ooo for an ottoman? I could make that..." and "Where do I get china markers?" and constantly scribbling down new ideas for paintings, shadow boxes, classes, altar pieces and experimental books and-- WOAH!

But even in the quietest of moments I feel compelled to make something--words or marks--that describe that quietness, something that reflects the inner space, something that responds to The Vacuum. Sometimes I experience creative Limbo when in a transitional period, a time when my interests are in flux or I'm moving on from one theme or material to another. I think, "I've been playing with this project for months, babying it, devoted to it, loving it. But---
Oh! Ooh. What's that?" And I see that idea from across the room. I slyly look at it and it looks at me, we exchange glances for a while. So, I take initiative. I flirt with that idea for a while. Then I become brave and I ask it out for a drink. After a few dates at the library or in the sketch book it dawns on me--we were meant to be! And all the while I feel guilty about moving on from the former idea, the series, the finished work. But ultimately, I must leave it behind and confess,

"It's not you, darling. It's me."

The most excellent part of this melodramatic exchange is that there is a happy ending. There are no tears, no one is dejected and holed up eating Ben & Jerry's and no one gets their tires slashed. :)

What are your creative cycles and soap operas like?

18 comments:

Sacred Suzie said...

You have really made peace and progress with your creative inspirations! It reminds me of people who have crow energy, oh what's that shiny thing?! And then they're off. But it's part of a process and it definitely works for you!

Genie Sea said...

LOL!

Welcome to another episode of... "As the Creative Cycle Turns"

Thoroughly enjoyable love story. :)

June said...

I agree with Suzie. And .... love that portrait its amazing
Hugs June x

Lissa said...

Yes! your portrait is amazing,(did it just wink?) yet it is your wit that won me over today.

jennlui said...

oh my molly!!! hee hee!!! i LOVE your little drama with creative ideas... the love affair of it all!!!

i guess i'm a love 'em and leave kind of gal... ha ha ha!!! i too struggle with being interested in too much so often one little ideas or even a whole bunch will get carelessly tossed to the side for another sexier idea!!! but then i might be back later crying "take me back"!!! romancing once again a tossed idea, taking it to new heights... oooohhhhh how fabulous this life of creativity really is... full of ups and downs and laughter and adventures and tears... soooooooo never boring!!! hee hee!!!

love your self-portrait piece... the vibe is SO very reflective and pensive... beautiful work!!!

peace out

D said...

I want to try an aloe and ginger smoothie. That sounds fantastic.

Shell said...

I feel like your self potrait. My creative cycles are like love affairs. Some are beautiful and stay with me. Others crash and burn. I find like in love that you take a piece from everything you love. Then make it into your own in unexpected ways. Right now, an old love affair with sewing has popped up. It has rumbled in my heart for a while. I follow this and see where it takes me.

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

Following the Muse!!!! YES!!!! That self portrait -- wow! How did you do that -- the layers, the details, the beautiful musings. Wonderful!

Caroline said...

Oh I love that idea - that a new project flirts with you - such a great way to express it!

CynthiaMarie said...

Your insight to the artistic processes to one who is at the beginning of her journey has given me just the biggest smile and a recognition of my heart in yours.

thank you --

even in the quietest moments...
yes, so true

Blessings and laughter!

intothedawn said...

I love your paragraph about being unable to focus. I had to laugh, it sounds just like me sometimes-- so much inspiration that I go into creative overload. Maybe I should take a page from your book and start flirting with my projects and focus on the ones who flirt back!

Lisa said...

Thank you! This was so much fun to read. I admit, I am a bit jealous because I don't think that even at my height of my creative cycle I have quite so many ideas coming to me at a time or the talent you have for making them come to life. But that's ok. You have it and you have pictures! LOL I can look at yours. :)

Bohemian Single Mom said...

Awesome post!
I love your analogy of the "vacuum".
Excellent post! I too, love finding art in less obvious places...books, film, magazines with strange pics and fonts, etc.

Love your whirlwind of creativity and can SO identify with it.

gemma said...

You Rock! Lovin' your words and art!

creativehealinggoddess said...

I agree its definitely a case of mania and the vacuum and giving birth to something great afterwards.

Kavindra said...

This was a simple delight to read! Love the art work as always, but these words are just fantastic!

vintage wil said...

Wow this is fantastic! great image and colors.

dieadjustormigrate said...

love your way with words! yes, creativity is a bit like a love affair in a soap opera isn't it? never thought of it that way before but it is a great description. only with me, i keep coming and going from one love to another, never truly leaving one behind or cutting the ties. i seem to recall victor and somebody on y&r about 20 years ago doing something similar!!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...