I’m currently in the process of brainstorming new narratives for my new body of work for this summer. This period of “manifestation”, as I like to call it, requires a thoughtful amount of time devoted to research, self reflection, and experimentation.
For many years I struggled with accepting the fact that the most important part of my process didn’t entail the actual part of ‘creation’. Instead, my rumination period was the most crucial component. It’s even more so important following the completion of a piece, especially as the process of printmaking is so intensive from start to finish. I was caught up in this idea that artists have to be making 24/7 in order to be successful. So when I did not ‘fit the bill’, I felt anxiety ridden and seemingly less productive. All I wanted was to fast forward to the “good stuff” and omit the preceding period of ambiguity.
Over time I had to be more realistic and change my perception about ‘process over product’. I wasn’t getting anywhere by trying to change my cognitive habits and I certainly wasn’t doing myself any favors by resisting my natural tendencies to ruminate and reflect. So instead I taught myself that creativity isn’t attached to an hourglass. I slowly realized manifestation is tied to intent—both being mutually exclusive. And once I learned to respect my process and cater to my creative mental needs as an artist, the self-loathing stopped and new ideas became innate thus action could naturally occur. This re-awakening also entailed spontaneity and freedom to explore other art forms as essential tools for developing creative epiphanies.
Most recently, I was awarded first place at the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s “Souvenir” themed (Guest juried) art exhibit. This particular piece is a departure from my usual work as it’s assemblage. This is a medium I’ve always been intrigued by and frequently utilize as an internal ritualistic process but not something i’ve ever formally pursued or publicly shared.
Initially, I submitted two prints to the “Souvenir” show. Later, I came up with an idea to submit a vintage suitcase to hang in congruence with my second print. The print itself being my first multi plate print, a self-portrait with a brown suitcase.My idea for submitting a vintage suitcase quickly spiraled into a pursuit to fill it with personal artifacts that would create a narrative about my creative journey thus far.
The process of putting the suitcase together was innate and just the right amount of rekindling of curiosity I needed to start this summer’s print work. The objects inside the suitcase are symbolic of my process of rediscovering and the power of vulnerability. The suitcase in and of itself is a result of periods of transition and contemplation—it would not have been possible without acknowledging the resounding importance of creative ambiguity and the paradigm shifts that occur as a result. Until my intent becomes more clear, I will thoughtfully be working through this stage of manifestation and gleefully look forward to the tactile process of creation.