To feel the anguish of waiting for the next moment and of taking part in the complex current (of affairs) not knowing that we are headed toward ourselves, through millions of stone beings – of bird beings – of star beings – of microbe beings – of fountain beings toward ourselves.
– Frida Kahlo
I had a real awakening in 1986 when I took the CREATIVE PROCESS class at (what was then called) Emily Carr College of Art and Design with Kitty Mykka. It was a LIFE CHANGING CLASS that introduced me to the theory, practicality and universality of the creative process.
Beware! I now know a language so beautiful and lethal
My mouth bleeds when I speak it.
– Gwendolyn MacEwen
Kitty also took my journaling work deeper than I had ever gone before, opening for me a safe personal space in which to process my work and my life.
And as three decades have gone by since that Fall of 1986, I continue to embody the creative process. I often tell my students that process for me is much more important than the end product. That is why I love street art- I put it out there- it will (de)volve as it will. The ongoing process is what intrigues me.
As I approach age 55 in a few weeks, I feel a renewed sense of peace at my core. Not only is my creative process not attached to the outcome- my life is not attached to the outcome. These days, if I feel a sense of angst rise up as I try to juggle all my projects, or look at my bank account, or worry about family and the future, or fall into saudade, or feel guilt for deciding not to pursue certain projects so that I can commit fully to certain partnerships, as I worry I am not prepared for a session, or as I plan the road ahead and feel overwhelmed looking at the to-do list, or as I think think and over-think, or as I work on my graphic novel worrying if I am on the right track, or if I feel helpless to help someone in need- my heart releases and my mind is reMINDed to not be attached to the outcome.
And it is a lesson I try to instill in my art students. It is a way to quiet the inner critic without stifling it. To not be attached to the outcome sets us free to create.
I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but START WRITING. There is NO SUCH THING as “too late” in the arts. Trust me. START. – Patton Oswalt
Is that Self Compassion? Is it maturity? It is PROCESS. TO STAY and LIVE IN THE MOMENT- to (try to) ride it, no matter how difficult that moment might be.
Let your indulgence set me free. – Shakespeare, The Tempest
There is no doubt that art has saved my life. And I am not attached to its outcome.