The Struggle

Going through old emails in my inbox, and I found this note to myself. My inbox is mostly filled with emails to myself for project ideas and things I want to deal with later. It’s not too bad, I have about 30 emails but they literally span years and years. This one was from May 2015. I’m not going through this struggle right now, as I’m actually overflowing with productivity (almost the opposite problem), but this note still seems very important and I’d love to hear how other artists and creatives push on after the initial excitement wanes and subsequent pieces seem less and less AMAZING.

“How does one deal with the stress of expectations and still stay creative and productive? My favorite and most creative work comes from creative exploring. What happens after the first piece or two after I have an idea or concept for a series that I’d love to continue with. What happens when you want to keep producing this thing you’ve started but it is no longer creative exploration, can start to feel repetitive or redundant?

I always remember reading in Art & Fear (side note: highly recommend this book if you haven’t read it) about how creative ideas are nothing, anyone can have creative ideas. It’s all about sticking it out, and pushing on, once it’s no longer fun. The most successful artists are the most prolific. But how do you do that? Especially when what happens after the initial, fun, and creative exploration just gets worse and worse. I feel like my creativity mirrors my bowling habits. I’ll always start out real strong but the longer I play the worse I get, until it is gutter ball, gutter ball, gutter ball.”

Side note: I had to add the song Late Greats by Wilco because there’s something about artists being prolific to become successful that makes me think of this song. Perhaps the greatest piece of artwork hasbeen lost to time forever because the artist only made the one piece.

Also, I just needed to post this in hopes of getting the ball rolling again on blogging. I have so many things to share, but feel overwhelmed by it all and where to start, so this is as good of a start as any.

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