5 abstracts made in quick succession © Cherry Jeffs 2013
To succeed as artists we must create a body of work that is unified in style.
Is this a question of willpower?
And is it as important as we're told?
In a recent blog post, Creativity Coach, Dan Goodwin writes how he detests
'those safe middle of the road records people release where they describe the different kinds of musical style and tempo are on the record, and end with saying: “So there’s really something on this album for everyone”.'
I'm secretly afraid that this could be applied to my art. I'm a candidate for artist paranoia as I struggle with the array of genres in which my art emerges and pray for some kind of coherency to materialise.
Strive as I might, however, my art comes from a place where my rational mind has no access and "I" seem only to be able to wait and see what transpires.
365 Days of Art and 365 styles - or not quite
In 2011 I made a piece of art every day and exhibited a selection at the end of the year. The result was a show that was eclectic but successful. Thoughtful grouping of the 45 pieces according to colours or themes created a resonant display and resulted in a plethora of sales.
My grandma used to say,
'There's a customer for everything.'
And she was, by all accounts, a canny business woman.
365 bore this out: Rather than putting the buyers off, the very varied nature of the work attracted an equally diverse selection of purchasers.
Whilst the collectors happily went home with their pictures, I took away something equally valuable: The realisation that it's not necessary to manipulate my creativity in pre-determined way whilst it's happening and the end of worry as to which genre of my work is more saleable: Abstracts, whimsical portraits, and more realistic work sell equally. Drawings are no more or less popular than mixed-media pieces.
Born to be Wild
So these days when I go into the studio I have a kind of 'ho-hum, here I am again, let's see what happens this time,' feeling.
I've come to terms with this wilful child that is my creativity and I recognise that although I can do my best to discipline her, she will always be wild.
Curating the Creative Process
WildC and I have made a bargain. I'll let her do anything she wants as long as she does SOMETHING. Later I'll sort out the jumble into some sort of meaningful order.
I've become the curator of my own creative process.
While I still aspire to finding unity across the different genres of my art, I hope it is precisely this open and generous dialogue with myself that one day will result in just that. Until then I plan to enjoy exploring the fruits of my wild eclecticism.
Are you having an open and generous dialogue with yourself?
Is your creative life characterised by struggle or self-acceptance?
How do you dialogue with YOUR creativity?
Vitalise your inner dialogue working to improve your creative life!
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