Well – I’m really only stepping up on the stirrups at the moment but that saddle is looking more comfortable every day. At least it’s on the horse!
So I’ve got about three thousand ideas for prints running around in my head at the moment and so now comes the part where I decide how to deal with them.
- Do I write them all down so that I can work on them later?
- Do I work on the most pressing one so that I don’t lose the power of its immediacy?
- Do I clean the studio just a tiny bit more or work around the mess that is still left?
- Do I sketch them all out and file them in the later pile?
- Do I make myself a cup of tea and watch a movie?
All kidding aside, this is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of the process for me. After a time of studio drought, when the ideas start coming back and it seems like I could be productive in the studio, where do I begin and how do I keep the ideas from leaking out of my ears and running down the proverbial drain?
The answer in the past has always been to just run with the most urgent ideas. Put ink to plate and just start. Once working, ideas mature and morph into something that just might work on paper.
This year I have a new tool though. For the past year I have been actively working on an art journal. I have been using ink and watercolor to set down emotions and ideas as they come to me. It is an improvisational way of working and it is fast and honestly, very satisfying. The idea that comes to me as I write this is to keep doing what worked in the past; jumping on the most urgent idea and using that to guide me on my next round through the artistic process. Along with that I will add the journal tool to explore some of the other ideas that seem to be more shy, less likely to jump and down and call out “Mememememememeeeee!!!”.
And that worry about ideas leaking out and running down the drain? I just remembered an idea I had at least thirty years ago that still deserves some attention. Sometimes they just won’t go away!