Advice to Young Artists (and mid career ones too!)
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who'll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.”
I prefer to work almost everyday doing something for my art. Sometimes I am working on the website, shooting more images, or simply organizing my files. Upstairs in my studio materials I have saved are calling to be used. Just being around my work stimulates new ideas. This is really all productive as well.
When the creative work begins the images seem to pop out of nowhere and an idea is born. Then process resumes and decisions are made one by one until a new piece is complete. Just starting is half the battle. After all it all starts inside and then once out in the fresh air of the studio like my garden an idea or an image begins to grow.
Somedays the inspiration is more powerful than on other days but the most important thing is to just get started and be open for different directions to emerge. There are moments where there is an idea that seems to have come as a gift from the universe, almost complete and perfect. These moments are more rare and are savored and acted upon. For when the idea does flash before you it can disappear just as quickly. That is why working all the time I am able to capture the fleeting thought and begin to give it form.
I am curious. What motivates you to work? Do you need a deadline or a show to get into the studio or do you make art all the time while a new body of work develops? Do you work in series at are determined before you begin? Or do you just go into the studio and start on something and see what develops?