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.


Irene said...

What a great post. I love doing my stuff for long periods, very few of my paintings are hung because I always think I'd like to do this or that to them and so it is with my paper arts, I do this for pleasure, one that I hope never ends.

Laura Haviland said...

Dearest Susan,what a fabulous read this was. I love when a writer really makes you think.So powerful and true what you shared.
I enjoyed this posting so much.
I really enjoy visiting you.
You are one clever writer.
Thank you,have a nice day.
P.S. I mention to Catherine M about Art Paper Doll workshop. She wrote me and gave me the greatest guidelines for a newbie teacher. If lovely Barb ever decides to create a workshop for paper dolls. I would be interested in teaching.(spread my wings,LOL) I would love to see this in Ontario,nothing like this here.
Again thank,Hugs Laura.xoxx
What a nice way to start my day because of you Susan. : )

Leslie Jane Moran said...

It took me a long while to prepare my comment. I didn't want to make a mistake :) Get it? Sometimes I just can't get past the perfectionist part of things, and other times, call it lazy, call it lack of inertia, I just don't get to it....Unless of course I take a class. Having said that I may never finish what I started in class, but at least I get engrossed and learn something while I'm doing it....all my projects are on-going by the way! Love your image and your thoughts. You'll have me up all night conspiring my next move! Merci.

Anonymous said...

Rats. Now I'm going to have to finish something.
Curse you, Red Baron.

Supria Karmakar said...

Keeping it fun and light is so important and during those 'stuck' moments..I find just puttering in the studio, doing bases, cleaning brushes, tiding up , going through my mixed media goodies gets the juices going and the more I paint the more I want to paint....
But put a break in there for me and I have a hard time getting going a well oiled machine...
Thanks for your recent visit..supria

Kristeena Crabb said...

Susan! This is so "right on" and comes at a perfect time for me. Thanks for sharing your wise insights.

Debrina said...

I totally agree with your sentiments, Susan. I've never been one to procrastinagte unless I have time on my hands. I will always shoot into the studio whenever I get the time right now. I haven't even time to think of stopping - I just get down to it and do art. You're so right about the project thing...but it's more than that, it's also a process. And it's the process that you describe here (the brainstorming, the playing, tinkering and fine tuning, etc.) is the most exciting part to me.

steph said...

Susan, this is so inspiring as always....I totally agree that when I say I love art, I love the whole process from actively creating to taking a "break" from it's all part of the process.... cheers! steph

A bird in the hand said...


I never have writer's block, and this is why: When I was in college, one of my lecturers told that if I couldn't write, it was because I didn't know WHAT to write. He told me to think about what I wanted to write, clarify it in my head, and things would flow. It was invaluable advice and it has never let me down.

As for art, you know me, I just plunge in and do it ;)

jc said...

Hi Susan,

It was so much fun meeting you at Colette's session. Your last post was definitely something I'm familiar with. I enjoyed your take on something I struggle with.....going beyond the part where you do more than just think about it. Hopefully you'll get lots of creative time this summer. Be well! jocelyn xoxo

Sandy Michelle said...

The only time I am too lazy to finish something is if I have to keep going back to it. Scrapbooking is like that so I stopped doing that a long time ago. I hope you are enjoying the wonderful weather!

Sandy xox

Ganga Fondan said...

Hey susan,
Just checking in with you again. I can feel the creative sparks flying here again. My 2 cents worth to this posting is that if I didn't give myself to contemplate and do nothing (which I used to think was being lazy and nonproductive) some of the most profound ideas for songs and images would never have gushed out. I need lots of time to just watch clouds and let myself be. Usually when I feel really compelled to do nothing, there's usually some kind of creative break through.

Sending you some "h'art" hugs!!!