As I sit down to write this, I have to say I am a bit down and I wanted to start this journal with the reality that the creative process is sometimes depressing.
I am working on my next collection right now and I have been thinking, why bother? If this is not how I will make my living soon, why even try? Why am I not successful already?
There is so much uncertainty with creating anything, particularly when you are designing items for public consumption. I always admired people who just created and did not care if others liked, appreciated, bought what they created.
I saw the Hilma at Klint exhibit at the Guggenheim - it boggles my mind that she actually demanded that her work not be made public until 20 years after her death. She felt that they would not be understood! Such audacity, such confidence and such disregard for what others think! I have to admit, I do care about what people think :(
For some people (like Hilma), uncertainty is totally ok. If you are the type of person who is comfortable in limbo, it’s all good.
But if you are a person who was raised in a family where achievement is everything and you are only as worthy as the high grades you get and you are praised for being smart, playing it safe - uncertainty is complete horror.
Add to it many years of corporate life where you climb up the invisible ladder chasing some invisible carrot and getting promoted for working late nights, weekends, and adding on multiple projects to your already packed schedule, you are used to a formula, work hard, get rewarded….
Well, you follow a certain formula, you know the outcome! It’s safe! You are in control!
For those of us who follow that formula, the uncertainty of whether or not you will succeed is TORTURE.
Cause what is the point in doing anything that will not make you successful, as defined by our society (higher salary, better position, etc).
What are these frivolous ideas of creativity, fulfillment, surrender and trust? Do these exist in the real world?
Creativity is torture, it seems to the logical mind - there is no magic formula, and there is no guarantee…. But there sure is vulnerability.
What if you took the leap and no-one liked/appreciated what you did, or worse than that, they mocked you .. what happens? then???
So why do we put ourselves through this pain?
Because life is supposed to be lived and some of us feel the need, the urge to create, and try to make a living out of our creations,
even if we are still climbing an invisible ladder...
One of my favorite books, “Where’d you go Bernadette?” soon to be a movie with my favorite actress Cate Blanchett as Benadette, has the quote that summarizes it best :
“People like you must create. If you don't create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.”
So, I create to not become a menace to society :)
So here is what I suggest to all you creative ones out there :
- Do what brings you joy, makes you feel like a kid, no matter how frivolous it may sound to others
- Do it well, do not cut corners, do it to your best ability
- Do not question what comes from your heart, connect with your soul
- Do not attach to the outcome, do not think about success or failure
- Do share it with the world, it is after all your duty, your reason for being
- Don’t be a menace to society.