I'm knackered, burnt out, depleted, bereft of inspiration ( I could go on but I don't want to go bringing parrots into it*) . Another bout of creative failure has brought about this sorry state. And yet I am not sorry. Not sorry I tried and not sorry that, once again, I failed.
Being self taught means there is a lot more trial and error than usual; I haven't had art college to help me define my ideas or style, it's been a wide ranging, on-going process of trying everything to see what works. And what doesn't. A lot of this process has taken place publicly, on my blog, website and facebook page not to mention the Etsy shops that died a death. Oh yes, I've put a lot of crap out there over the last few years.
There have been times when failure has been particularily hard - I have torn up and thrown out almost all my early paper based work. That really really hurt and I confess to having cried but each time I did it I knew I was clearing the way for something new.
And that's the point right there - failure is not this isolated 'thing', it's part of a process. Obvious really but we tend to focus on the bit that didn't work rather than the wonderful, complex, evolving whole that it is.
I once likened the creative process to wandering from a place you know to a place you don't know and possibly can't conceive of with a cardboard box on your head. To which I might add that there is a big element of going over the edge of a cliff as well. With the box still on your head, of course. Sometimes I make a mad dash for the edge and fling myself off just to see what happens, at other times I find myself inching closer and closer to the edge delicately feeling my way along. I am driven by curiosity and just enough fear and uncertainty to make it interesting.
I realized the other day that I loved this crazy process and was no longer that fazed by the possibility of failure - public or otherwise. The prospect of seeing whether I could fly off the edge of the metaphorical cliff or if I was going to crash and burn is just too damm exciting.
And in the spirit of possible failure I intend to blog more about what goes to make up the creative process, why artists are different from other people and how not to burn out . . . that kind of thing. Stay tuned.
* Youtube search 'Norwegian Blue Parrot' if you don't get this reference.
** This picture isn't actually relevant I just didn't have a picture of a mad artist running off the edge of a cliff.