Saturday, June 6, 2015

Getting into character: Is making art like acting?

It's difficult to stay in the so-called zone of the creative process when I have to do so many other things required for basic survival. I long for the lifestyle of the seeming throngs of creative types throughout history who did nothing but work at their craft. I'm convinced there were people they were ignoring in order to do so.

I have clear notions of a series of art pieces I want to bring to life. I've noticed that the subject matter is most poignantly available to me when I'm in a state of woe. So, when I finally get a chance for some studio time, what to do if I happen to be in a light, carefree mood? Moreover, I often can't work when in depths of despair, I'd rather wallow in self-pity or meditate until I feel better.  How does one retain the sensibilities of sorrow and struggle when you are in a reflective, recovery state? Will newfound optimism color it, and somehow make the results less effective?

I've been thinking that making art can be like acting in that before settling in to work, I need to embody the state of mind of the part of me that was inspired in the first place. I need time alone, often a day or so to get into character. I seek out images and texts that press the trigger. The levitating woman posted here is one that seems to work a lot.

Is it necessary to maintain continuity with one's state of mind in order to work on a certain theme? I suppose if the work is nothing but honest, what emerges is just what is.


Ross said...

Interesting thoughts. It's definitely good and often necessary to prep yourself to get in the zone - but eventually, the show must go on and you just have to dive in whether you feel completely ready or not.

Laurie Pearsall said...

Thanks, Ross. I think sometimes having less time available to work is better because I don't dare waste it muddling things over!