One of the oldest and most generous tricks that the universe plays on human beings is to bury strange jewels within us all and then stand back to see if we can ever find them….Elizabeth Gilbert
I watched one of my favourite ever Ted talks again yesterday. If you’ve never watched a Ted talk, they are short snippets of inspiration from people from all walks of life and are easy to find on Google. If you only ever watch one in your whole life…..make it the talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on the creative process. It’s brilliant! If you watch it, you’ll also understand the title of this particular blog.
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Eat, Pray, Love amongst other books. This book was snapped up by the film industry and made into a movie with Julia Roberts which I absolutely loved. This particular talk references her success with this book but also her battle to come to terms with trying to equal that success. But the talk is so much more than that.
The talk goes on to reference that inner something that creatives have that doesn’t feel quite human. That something special that helps you create a piece of work that you feel was inspired or guided by something greater than yourself. Over the years it has been called a Muse or a Genius. Whatever we call it, I’m sure you have all created something in your life that you feel you were merely a channel for.
I certainly feel that a lot with my creations. Some I plod away and work until it comes together.. Other times, my ego and my conscious being seems to step aside and allow something much greater to take control of the process. Those tend to be the really special pieces. Of course it’s me there.. and of course I took the photo with a plan in mind but suddenly that plan seems to be touched by a stroke of “genius” and the image then takes a shape that I couldn’t have possibly done while my ego was in charge.
I’m sure some people think this is a crazy notion but I know there are times that images or ideas have come from a place other than my logical brain. The last few weeks, my dreams have been full of ideas, some weird, some fantastic. I haven’t rejected any of them. One I had is so weird that I woke up thinking, No Way.. that’s just stupid.. and dozed off again to be told again that I had to make it. I woke up again and rejected it yet again only to doze off again and repeat the process another 3 or 4 times. I finally gave in and said, yes, I will make it. I told a friend about it and she felt that my Muse has a very warped sense of humour but that’s okay. If I only ever created work that was safe, I’d never step out of my comfort zone, so against my logical mind, I will create the work and let you know when it’s done.
But it’s also been full of ideas whether they come in the form of a vision of the finished work or just a title and I’m absolutely loving the ideas (or most of them) that I’m being given. I think it’s happening because I’ve finally stop trying to be in charge of the creative process and I’m just going with the flow and allowing it to happen. I’ve also been trying my hand at different types of art too, away from the computer. These have been costumes and props for photo shoots but have become works of art on their own merit. I honestly believe this has opened up my mind more fully to hear and accept the snippets that my Muse throws my way.
2017 is going to be my busiest year ever I think. I have some work in an exhibition at the moment and have another 5 pieces I’m creating for another one in April/May. I am currently planning my first solo exhibition which will consist of 30 – 40 pieces and have another series of photos on the go at the same time. Of course, the greatest and most exciting creation of all is happening in June when I become a grandmother for the first time. I’m so excited by that particular event that I can barely breathe when I think about it.
So in preparation, I am making myself a home studio at the moment. I don’t have a lot of room here but I do have a wall that is perfect to set up a backdrop. I’ll probably be quiet over the next week or so while that area is prepared and I start to plan for Christmas. I’m hoping I’ll at least get a Christmas image done amongst the other chaos. These are a few of the props I’ve been creating lately..