When it comes to the creative process, “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” – John Maynard Keyes
Letting go of old ideas that are not working is a tough thing to do and it can be difficult know when to move in a new direction especially if you have invested a lot of your time, effort and maybe even your money along the way. Yet, no matter what end-goal you are working towards, it is important to remain flexible in the process of creation.
I mean it is called a PROCESS for a reason right? Whether you are painting a page in your art journal, or knitting a scarf or building a creative business, in order to get to your finalised piece or product or goal you have to navigate an undulating and winding road of indecision along the way otherwise known as the creative process. It’s easy to assume that when we have a “great idea” it will just work and that will be that. However, this is often not how it usually works.
Creating something – anything – is always going to be a messy, non-linear process. You will often start with a particular idea in mind for your finished creation – what it will look like, the themes it will express, the story that will unfold. Yet when you launch into actually making it, your initial idea starts to change and develop and before you know it you are creating something completely different to what was first imagined which can be confusing and mighty frustrating!
It’s almost as if your process takes on a mind of it’s own. It shouts over to you: “I’m going this way! Wheeeee!!!” But your mind may still be clinging onto that first initial idea as you grit your teeth and try your mightiest to make it work god damnit!!! “This is GOING to work!” you say, as you plough harder, faster, and deeper into the rock hard earth that just is not giving in any way. GAH! – why isn’t this just bloody working???
The idea of stickability is certainly a popular belief that we are taught to respect and value in today’s culture. As a child, I was taught that it is respectable to commit ourselves to a certain path especially in regards to career choices. And when the going gets tough, of course you must stick it out and make it work. If you quit, well then…you are a dirty, rotten, scum-bag quitter and that’s just not on is it now?
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s certainly necessary to be committed to our creative vision and to engaging in our process consistently. That is definitely needed if we are to be successful creatively. Yet there is also a need to be flexible in our thinking and to give ourselves permission to just let go of something that isn’t working if we are to keep moving forward with our process. If we get too bogged down in the grind of making something work against its will then what’s the use in that? And I would like to add from my own experience, whenever I have let myself fall down that creative rabbit-hole and let the process just guide me in a new direction, it has always worked and it has always been better than my original idea.
When I first created soulARTZ, I had wanted to start a blog that documented my art journaling experimentation and learnings which has been lots of fun, but now I am finding myself wanting more. My goal of developing this blog into a business is leading me in a new and different direction and even though I have had some doubts along the way, I am embracing this change in my creative focus.
Over the last couple of months, I have been digging into the nitty gritty of what I really want to achieve with my little biz which has seen me making lots of changes to my existing business plan and goals, including the content that I will create for the blog itself. Through this process, I have realised that I don’t really want to blog about art techniques and making “pretty stuff”, but I am more interested in writing about and exploring the development and application of the creative process, both in our personal lives and in a creative business context.
With this renewed sense of vision and purpose, I can now see that soulARTZ is no longer a blog dedicated just to art journaling, but a growing platform that is committed to helping women achieving their creative goals and dreams including creative business development. For you lovely existing readers, don’t panic! I will still be blogging about journaling and creative pursuits but more as a tool that we can use to develop our ideas and bring our creative dreams and goals into fruition.