|Puppy . . . (and artist David Gordon)|
My wife Ann had a habit of getting stuck on one painting and not being able to shake it loose. She’d work and obsess and then stall . . .
Sitting with my prolific artist friend David Gordon one morning this past spring I told him about her dilemma — and asked how he did things.
His process applies to so many things we get stuck on in life that it bears sharing with you. It helped Ann break through to a new level of creative zest.
His answer was to work on a number of pieces at once.
Here’s the gist of it in 3 steps:
Step 1: “It’s all in the setup.”
And — this is critical — to be able to place those off to the side somewhere so they can can dry while you work on the next round.
Step 2: “Visualize doing 4 or 5 paintings. Even if you end up with 3, you’re happy.”
David will dawdle in bed for 20 to 30 minutes in the morning, visualizing what he’s going to be working on that day. By visualizing I mean some quirky combination of pondering and planning and daydreaming.
Whether or not you finish several in a day is immaterial. Multiple works are in progress . . . making completion that much more certain when you step back in the studio.
The time frame isn’t as important as the process. A day, a week, a month . . . by working on several simultaneously you spur yourself to greater heights than had you lumbered over only one project at a time.
. . . . . . . .
(PS: David is another creative who likes his naps. Notice how he gets insane creativity going by lazing in bed in the morning . . . and napping when needed? Genius, I tell you. Creative dynamos allow themselves naps.)
For you —
What creators do
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