“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” – Chuck Close via Drawn
Found this quote while poking around on the interwebs today. I find it to be very VERY true in my personal experience. The process of making art, the process of living life even, is full of little moments where you must choose to simply push forward.
Just do something. Do the best you can and move on.
I use the line “Don’t look back or you will petrify” in my work often, it’s a chant of mine. Maybe if I say it enough times, it will stick. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about past projects and feeling cringe-inducing embarassment about all the old, imperfect, raw stuff I’ve made/said/did that’s still floating out there in the world, wishing I could attach a disclaimer that explains how I wanted something to turn out and why it didn’t. It’s a hard loop to break, isn’t it?
Sharing your creative self with the world makes you vulnerable if you’re doing it right. At least, I’ve not found a way to be honest in my art-making without exposing myself a little. And it’s that feeling of wanting to put “only the best” of myself out to be poked and judged there that stalls me sometimes. Close is right, I think, when he says “the best ideas come out of process.” It’s once I let go of my fear of failure and start creating for the sake of exploring and learning that true joy and true ART happens.