Why I Share My Creative Process
It can seem strange to share a work in progress. Some might even call it unprofessional. Yet, somehow, I feel compelled to ignore this piece of common sense, professional advice (as well as many other pieces of common sense, professional advice... but that's another story). Here's why.
For me, art in general (and painting especially) is a radical act of trust. For a long time the piece I'm working on bears little or no resemblance to what I see in my head, the reference picture, or model I am drawing from. The only way past that point is to keep applying paint to the canvas while assuring myself that this is temporary and it will get better if I keep doing it.
This is the conundrum so expertly explained by Ira glass in this clip:
Until I started going to art demonstrations and workshops I never thought about other people's creative process. I thought they just made good things. Right away. Since what I made was never good right away I thought it never would be. I would get stuck in that gap between having a good idea and good taste and making a good finished product.
And so, I share my process as proof that there is one.
I share in hopes that someone who is stuck in the gap can relax and trust the creative process. We have tremendous power to inspire others by sharing our works in progress because it give permission to others to be imperfect for the sake of their creation.
Remember, our tastes always evolve one step ahead of our abilities. If we're waiting to be a finished product before we put ourselves out there, well, we'll be waiting a long time.
Creative discomfort is temporary. If you keep doing it, you will get better. I promise.