After only the second chapter I was already examining my own creative instincts and habits. Tharp lists the following to ponder and says that after you have:
You have cleared the first hurdle. You have begun to prepare to begin.
A few of these things have been on my mind for a while and I have been getting to a point where I can felt I could check them off the list and move on and begin.
1. My work space has always been an issue because ideally I would have an amazing loft studio space where my work could be everywhere and left out to ponder while sipping wine and cooking dinner. Well that is not my reality at the moment. So what are the elements of this that are the most important. What parts of this dream can I weave into the space I have access to now so that I can feel comfortable and supported in my creative flow? The answer: natural light, clean workspace, all my tools and supplies at hand, the freedom to leave my work out between sessions, and some time to myself without the judging eyes of others. These are all things I can find a way to make happen even in a small apartment, with a family. The creative process is not only for making art, it can also be found in the preparation to begin.
2. Tharp’s start up ritual is hailing a cab early in the morning. I need to get outside for a walk, ride or run. Yoga also works for me but I haven’t been able to get into it lately.
3. Facing down my fears…it seems what I need to do is mentally hold my breath.I guess its like putting the fears in a box. I put them on hold and focus on any bit of something that feels good. For me it is usually visual or tactile. Lately when I put my fears on hold I have been seeing an image of wood and am able to feel the sensation of the wood grain on my fingers. So I decided to work with a scrap piece of wood and am feeling content in my process with it right now.
4. Distractions…hmmm…I haven’t quite figured this one out yet, especially since I have a small child…but by continually challenging myself to keep focusing on the bits that feel good and leaving the rest behind, I find, that I can make the most of the small amount of arts time that I have.
Considering these steps has definitely helped me to get myself into a more heart-centered creative space and out of my over-thinking cycle.