A thing I have not written about until now is the difficulty I have experienced being creative while taking art classes in college. One wouldn't imagine that creativity would suffer while in the pursuit of higher education especially in the area of studio art and art history. When I began studying these which I was unable to study the first time around, I thought that the opposite would be true.
I thought my muse would automatically start sending me unlimited ideas and inspiration because I was exposing her to constant sketching exercise, unbroken hours at the easel, and hours of contact with all manner of other arty types each week. Imagination unleashed!
While assignments, even broadly defined assignments, are valuable for helping a studio artist grow and develop, the sense of inspiration isn't necessarily present. My technical ability has improved and I earned good grades, so my inner Hermione is affirmed. Unfortunately, however, I ended the semester with a sense of loss.
I felt I'd lost the ability to paint. I felt I'd lost the ability to compose a decent, let alone interesting, composition on the canvas.
What I was really experiencing was overload: plain, old-fashioned burn-out. This is what happens from too much of even a good thing, like channeling all one's time and energy into completing even the best of professors' assignments. Painting and drawing became as interesting to me as a term paper bibliography.
That's when I decided to take a breather over the summer months to reignite the flames of creative spontaneity. I picked Walking in This World by Julia Cameron and will cover a chapter a week over the course of the summer on a self-guided journey of creative recovery. I'm in week 4 presently, and have begun to see some smoldering going on. At least, I smell smoke.
I'm interested in doing painting exercises every day but much to my surprise, I also have been dogged by an idea for a book. One day as I was reflecting on my artistic direction, an idea for a character and plot surfaced nearly fully formed, out of seemingly nothing.
But I know there is no such thing as nothing when we are open-hearted to the Great Creator and open-minded to the ideas that channel through us and flow through our hands into various creative projects. I fancifully picture my muse frantically war-whooping and dancing around the fire to encourage the glowing coals to once again burst forth in healing flames.
She's a damn pest about it, really, but you get what you pray for when the Universe aligns with your deep desire. It is then that synchronous actions take place all round and about you to open doors and line up people and things in support of your project.
So far this week, I've begun an outline of the characters as well as a broad outline of the plot. I'm either crazy (like I have nothing else to do) or right on the track I'm supposed to follow. I know there will be obstacles like time, money, and interest lagging. So far this week I've told my son and my husband about it and neither one has suggested I'm crazy. What I'm considering is publishing serially via my Quiet Woman blog, the one I normally use for sermons. So, here's where you come in.
I wonder if reading installments of the story over a blog would be appealing to anyone, and, if so, how often would you want new chapters? Weekly? Daily? Or? What wisdom do you have to share with me?
Unless you want to just tell me I'm crazy, I welcome your input. Leave a comment below, please.