Following on from last week when I was beginning to appreciate how precious rainwater is, it dawned on me that all my materials are precious – I can’t just carry on consuming as though it has no consequences. Creating art consumes the Earth’s resources just as anything else does.
This put me in mind of Brett Bloom’s Petro-Subjectivity, in which he makes the point that we can’t just create a ‘greener’ version of what we have now if we’re still dependent on extracting the Earth of it’s resources – sooner or later we will end-up where we are now, facing the death of the planet.
However, I know from experience if I stop creating art, my mental health starts to suffer. It also strikes me that if we take things to the extremes Bloom proposes, essentially pressing the reset button and returning to pre-industrialisation, death might actually be more preferable to life! So I believe a compromise has to be reached. At the very least, it will buy us time for transitioning more smoothly to what Bloom proposes.
The conclusion I’ve reached is, rather than indulging my ego by consuming materials with wanton abandon or having my ego eat away at me by denying myself the pleasure of creating art, I must pacify my ego by reducing the amount of materials I use. In deciding upon this action, I realised that by reducing the amount of paper I use (from A1 to A2 in this instance), I reduce the amount of all the other materials I use.
Reducing the amount of materials I use, also means I live with my mistakes. So when I messed up the black line like I did in the m of “my”, instead of trashing the piece and starting again like I was tempted to, I had to live with it. (I also had second thoughts about the doodles I added but again had to live with them).
I feel living with my mistakes will make me more conscious about the act of creation itself. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this creates anxiety in itself – will I be too anxious about making mistakes to get into the zone I need to be in to be creative? I’ll just have to wait and see.