I heard a talk by artist Donna Fleming recently which made a few key things fall into place. She talked about how crucial it is to follow what feels exciting in one’s work rather than worrying about what you THINK you should be doing or listening to the voices of doubt in your head that warn you that it simply isn’t good enough.
What I took away from the session was:
- Follow what feels exciting in what you make, no matter how simple. You might find yourself fascinated for example as I am by something as banal as reflection – the feeling one thing is intruding into another.
- Follow this through into other things that snag your attention – images, written texts, TV programmes, doodles made in an idle moment, etc.
- Donna suggests everything is connected. Once you know what you’re drawn to, look for the common thread connecting them all – likely to be illuminating as to what your work is really about.
- Don’t stress about pinning down the wider context / reasons for why you make what you do – it crushes creativity. Obviously, eventually one has to pin this stuff down for statements, etc., but keep it to a minimum.
- Make as much work as you can – ideally every day. Watch out for procrastination and avoidance tactics though – the things used to avoid the fear of making!