So the hardest part about being an independent artist that they don't teach you at school, at least not the one I went to, is not losing that creative edge. In my down time between festivals or trying to find a show or commission, it can be difficult to keep motivated. There are all kinds of reasons that might prevent one from finding this, be it work, family, money -- pretty much life in general. The best way I've found to overcome these slumps is found in the following motto: "work makes work." Be it cleaning the studio or sanding down a log, it not only helps keep those creative muscles flexing, but also leads to inspiration for other projects. It also reminds me of a short essay I read, way back in sculpture 1, titled "Shop Class as Soulcraft." It touches on the the perks and what-not of manual labor, as well as the separation of thought and action. Apparently it has been expanded into a book, which I'll have to take a look at. I suggest you give it a read if you have the chance and need to find an outlet for those fidgeting hands.
This all being said, in my spare time over the past few months I've been working on a carving project -- with only a loosely defined goal -- to keep myself active. It's been nice to approach this lump of wood periodically, with a new set of eyes, and wrestle with the material. Sort of a man vs. nature scenario. Luckily I've documented some of the work process to see how the transformation from July to now has progressed. Ultimately, this can be chalked up as a new skill I've taught myself, which feels pretty good.
I think it's important to mention that this old oak was dead for many months and was cut down. The owner of this mighty tree wanted to pay homage to what it once was by allowing it to be turned into a pieces of art.
As always, thanks for reading. Please subscribe, like, or share me and my things with all the people.
Ray signing off.