I finished work on our show early last month. The show took a lot of my mental and emotional focus for the past several months. This show in particular (which I will share with you next week) has taken a lot out of me, challenging me to be more open and vulnerable. In spite of the fact that I share my thoughts here every single day I am actually a rather emotionally guarded person. I am not too keen on sharing my vulnerabilities. Sure, I can share that I am awkward and weird or whatever, but that is very different than sharing true life events that I hold at the heart of me. Needless to say, when I was done creating that show I felt pretty empty. I think that is not uncommon for creatives.
Once done with that I completed some outstanding work and have continued my daily sketches, but mostly I was stopped. That is the thing about the arts---people call it a creative block, but it is not really a block. We just need a little time to gather our thoughts and ideas and to recover. The arts seem like they are about a physical thing---the painting or the sculpture or whatever, but that is only the end result of a thought process. Sometimes that process takes years and it can be all consuming. Most creatives that I know are full of ideas. Actually, most people are full of great ideas, but they don't just come to us from the void. Ideas do not just happen, they are cultivated. This cultivation requires branching out and taking in lots of new ideas, followed by time alone to process those ideas and reach conclusions or make connections.
So for the past month or so I have been thinking and researching and reading and looking. I have a few different ideas that I am readying. This formative stage, in my mind, is the most important part of the work. This is where ideas are formed. Obviously some of those ideas are totally ridiculous and are eventually abandoned...but they are no less important than the works completed. For every ten bad ideas that I have I may find one worth pursuing. So that is where I am at right now, thinking and working.