Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the roller-coaster ride begins

So. The year has ended. The production flurry/frenzy is done for the year. It's been a FINE year! And VERY busy.

(one key to surviving this recession as a self-employed artist is low price point, in other words: work a LOT to just pay the bills. And truly, I'm glad to be surviving and paying my mortgage, health insurance, good food and liquor (!) and helpers!).

Now it's time to start fresh.

I am entering my creative retreat here at my home/studio/factory, but none of the usual activity. I don't allow myself to touch anything from past lines and I challenge myself to come up with at least one entirely new line. It needs to bridge something I am drawn to, like being drawn to a glimmer in the night, or a moment of "oh!". And it needs to be not just something like that, something that thrills and pleases me, but also something that will please many people AND that can be produced (and reproduced more or less) at a reasonable (time and materials) cost.

So now I start. I am thinking I will journal this process as I can never remember all the steps and stages I go through each year this time. And I'd like to have a reminder so that I can reassure myself that it's normal, what I'm going through!

Today, I've been trying to learn Photoshop, and have been thwarted at every turn by computer issues. I was very excited by a newish idea, all revved up to dig into it, but alas, I have to wait until Thursday to get my disks back from someone I lent them to. I have been very agitated at the disruption of my momentum but I will try to experiment instead with some new techniques and materials tomorrow--just to see what they might offer me.

It's the familiar blank canvas anxiety. It's wonderful and terrible both. I think mostly wonderful. But terrifying as well, because the pressure (and yes, my survival in this business depends on it) and time crunch (because The Big Show is coming up) is stalking me.

So I'm going to journal it. For myself. But I've always wanted to hear how others approach these challenges, so I'll write them out here in case there are some like me who have searched for descriptions of others experience in this process as well.

Stay tuned! It's as much a mystery to me as it may be to you...