Updated: Jan 19
Step one, make a lot of stuff. Step two, put in order.
don't necessarily do it in that order, but do make a lot of stuff. You're an artist and that's what you do. You won't, unless you're some creative prodigy, know how you want your creations to look, sound, and feel until you test your potential.
You won't know how to present the stuff you make unless you present it in a lot of different ways.
So far I know that production is of the highest order of importance to me, because I'm at my happiest when I'm in the middle of making something. When potential and productivity are about as wide open as they can both be at the same time, that's when I feel the best.
A lot of folk lore from humanity's past feature a serpent. Tiamat. Leviathan. Whatever form it takes, psychological, philosophical, and theological scholars have proposed a theory. The theory is that a lot of the motifs that appear in several mythologies across the board have a common meaning to us. A meaning that we couldn't express with anything other than abstraction. Because we know things before we know how to say them.
This giant "World Serpent" is among those recurring motifs. To many of us and our ancestors, that serpent, Tiamat, is a representation of all of the potential and all of the unknown in the world. The unknown is terrifying to us. It threatens to disrupt our established order. The unknown is new information. The unknown is the energy that we artists have to harness when we create.
That's why I'm encouraging a lot of creation. If you're an artist, do it. Do it a a lot! Finish pictures that you think are ugly, or at least try to. The appearance of a piece to you as undesirable is likely a self imposed judgement about the way you think things are supposed to look. If you stop every time something doesn't look the way that you feel it's supposed to, you stifle your own creativity. You're shrugging off all of the possibilities of how something could look, to maintain a certain feeling of how you think things should look.
This is easier said than done of course. I crumble up more pictures than I finish. The idea is to crumble up a few less, and keep going. Be open to the accidental creation of a new style or technique.
I know that Tiamat is terrifying. A giant chaotic serpent. In mythology, a hero always faces that serpent. The hero is brave enough to face the unknown even if it threatens the integrity of what is already known. Often times that same hero consumes the serpent's remains and or feeds its remains to others. This has been interpreted as the harnessing of the unknown. The digestion of chaos into new knowledge.
We sit with our pencils still, poised over paper, ready to face the judgement we impose on ourselves. . I'm not discouraging being deliberate or methodical with your artistic execution. I'm not saying its bad to hesitate. I'm just trying to express how important it is not to be paralyzed by the threat of things not turning out the way you think they should. Your perfectionism is Tiamat staring at you, and artists are meant to battle Tiamat. Crumpled pieces of paper, unfinished works aren't failures. They are exhibitions into the unknown. They are newly charted territory. They will bare fruit in the future. Whether that takes form of something new you learn to do or not to do on a future work.
When you feel like you've hit creative bedrock. maybe it's time for trial and error. The oldest way to discover.
I will be prolific, because I love to learn and I love the process of creation.