05 May 2013

"The Creative Habit" read along - Chapter 3

If you would like to join the closed Facebook group dedicated to this read along to discuss the book in more detail, please send an email to Lynn at FibraArtysta@earthlink.net with your email address.

This is the second installment of the read along for "The Creative Habit" by Twlya Tharp.

Chapter 1 and 2 of the read along can be found in this post.

Chapter 3 - Your Creative DNA

This chapter is a personal one, it's about how you approach your creativity. How your work habits actually define your voice.

This one has really given me pause. Here's why:

Remnants Collage #17
Lynn Krawczyk

This is #17 of a series that has defined my artist voice. This is the way I have chosen to work that feels most like home.

It's anything but organized or clear. The meaning? I won't say what it means to me. It's meant to be undefined so that it can be whatever it needs to be for whoever is looking at it.

I've been struggling so much about how messy my creative space is. And while I'm not about to abandon my pursuit of making my studio better then it is, it makes me wonder if I need to be careful about how far I take it.

Clearly I create from chaos. I make from a place that thrives on layers and riot and simply just being. If I completely remove this energy from my studio, will I struggle? My method of working depends largely on reacting to my fabric. If I don't hit an instant emotional reaction to what I've chosen, I toss it aside and dig through the pile again.

There is a disconnect when I work, I just go, let overthinking go. Let the chaos build itself up in the composition.

Tharp discusses her own habit of detachment and involvement when she is working. She is aware that no matter how odd it might seem, she needs them both in order to work. I'm realizing that while the constant chaos that I work in feels overwhelming now, I need some degree of it in order to spark the collages. I need to have the layers reveal themselves to me as I dig through The Heap of fabric I'm constantly trying to organize.

Tharp has devised a questionnaire in this chapter called "Your Creative Autobiography". It's a list of 33 questions that lead you through an understanding about how you came to work in the medium that you do and the habits that you have that let you accomplish your work. It's a very illuminating exercise.

She says, "If you understand the strands of your creative DNA, you begin to see how they mutate into common threads in your work. You begin to see the "story" that you're trying to tell; why you do the things you do (both positive and self-destructive); where you are strong and where you are week (which prevents a lot of false starts), and how you see the world and function in it."

She's talking about your artistic voice. About all the tiny little decisions and preferences that collide with each other into the thing that defines your artistic style. As with most of the themes in her book, it's about knowing who you are when you step into your studio and start making. It was interesting to sit back and think about the habits I have when I approach my work.

Do you have a way of working that has contributed greatly to your personal style of work?

Next week we'll discuss Chapter 4 - Harness Your Memory.  Happy reading! :)


HollyM said...

As I read this I was thinking that maybe I need to order the book and maybe I need to be a little messier on my work. You've written lots of food for thought. I do not get in the 'zone' on a regular basis and I find that at those times it end to have more of a mess. There is no time to put things away when your hauling things out and following the instincts.
Once I'm done the session though, I usually like to clean up but every once in a while I let it go for a few days or so. Don't I sound anal?

artroomer said...

I love the chaos route...so often I have found that the cloths used to clean my rollers, lino cut, silkscreen or just a dropsheet are incorporated into a collage or stitched piece. A place of mess is a starting point to organised chaos...which is the essence of creativity. Love your blog. Thanks.