Getting Started

Getting started must be one of the most difficult things to do for many artists. It certainly is for me. It’s like writing this blog. It’s been a while, I know, but I am here now. Having stolen a skerrick of time from my busy day, starting somewhere is often the hardest for me. Thinking about what to write about is almost as tricky as looking for inspiration when making an artwork. The question of, “Where do I start?” is always present, tormenting me like a teasing bully, (did I say that? Guess I did... feels like a big fat bully!) and, yet here I am, writing. 

I guess this leads me into the topic for this post... Getting started... Where do we begin? Where do we get our ideas from? How do we start? I have great ideas... lots of them.... lucky in that way; but... here it comes... I usually start in a frantic mess of questioning and insecurities about being ‘good enough.” Can you believe that? Cruel thoughts like these rant around in the back alleys of my mind, quietly, sometimes loudly, but usually quietly, tormenting at that very moment when I think that I am ready to start... it pounces like a stalking tiger in the jungle. It’s true!!!  When I have cleared the time and the space to begin... A thick feeling of tiredness washes over me like sticky mud, immobilising me... my mind and my body... and then the thoughts sneak in, sabotaged, and I am too weak to continue. I’ve taken up so much time in my head that I am thoughtless... creative juices have seeped away and I give up. Does this sound familiar? I think it is different for everyone.

So how do I begin? How do I move through this stage and begin my work? It’s taken me years, but I have finally come to understand that this is how it is for me. I’m a slow learner, what can I say? It is my beginning... a place where I have to push through and release all thoughts of tiredness and procrastination, of apathy and fear, of lack and insecurity. First, this is something that I have to accept about me... that this is how I work... That I must move through this cloud until I have the confidence to believe that I deserve to be here, in my studio; that I am good enough, just as I am and deserve to participate in this delightful process of making art. And for me, it’s like this almost every time. I am hopeful, that now I know this about me, that each time, each beginning, will be a little easier. I know that this is a time for being patient, forgiving and kind to myself... And then I begin...

This is where I work... where I start my art... a small bedroom converted into a studio. There is no running water, but it does have a great vista looking out onto the trees in our front yard... On the window sill are small objects that I have collected... Some are my own, but many are from other artists who inspire me... They are beautiful objects and I love them... My inspiration wall often has images of other works by artists to help me start... Once I have started, my own imagination takes form and I am off... exploring, experimenting, creating... and I am now at peace...