Monday, July 05, 2010

Mind Implements

Last time I posted here I wrote about my favorite art implements. Since then I’ve been thinking quite a lot about implements of the mind. In other words, you can have all the nifty art supplies in the universe, but unless you’re actually using them, they won’t fulfill their potential. Or you either.
Why is it so difficult for some of us to use our stuff? A few weeks ago a friend told me the reason she doesn’t do much art is because she’s lazy. But I don’t buy that for a minute. Lazy is one of those judgmental words that’s just guaranteed to make you feel worse. I know when I think of myself as lazy, I tend to act that way which is always counterproductive.
From what I can see, there are plenty of reasons why people procrastinate. This can be anything from just needing to take a break to feeling you have to do things perfectly or you shouldn’t be doing them at all And of course, let’s face it: making art isn’t always easy—and sometimes we just need things to be undemanding.
I read somewhere that the pleasure of writing is never equal to the pleasure of reading, so that’s why it’s easy to suffer from writer’s block. It’s the same thing with art. When you look at a fabulous mixed media piece, you can be inspired to do something of your own. But then when you actually get down to work things are usually more complicated than you think they will be. So what to do about this?
Sometimes I feel that art is more about problem solving than anything else. It doesn’t really help to think about it as a problem though. I find that looking on it as a project is the most helpful to me. A project implies things like brainstorming, planning, playing, tinkering around, fine tuning, taking detours and so on. In short: if you look on your art as an on-going project there’s more room for fun.