The Creative Path

It’s been a week of making leaps in my art, and then having to retreat back a few paces.

While the overall progress should leave me satisfied, I’ve found this difficult. It seems like I’ve been preparing for a long time to create the maps of my atlas and I feel really ready for all the slogging through unknown territory to magically transform into a straight and narrow path which I can sprint down.

I know this is unreasonable. I know I’m on the right path. I know how bored I would be if I was to suddenly find myself on a nice, paved road without the chance to meander and get lost … But still, every once in a while I find myself out of breath from all the effort it takes.

This is something I didn’t expect at this point in my artistic life—that it would take more and more effort to keep creating. I think I suspected it was more akin to weight-lifting, and that the more I worked at it, the easier it would become. But it seems the opposite is true. The more time I spend creating, the more strain I feel! It seems the nature of creativity and inspiration is as bottomless as the soul and spirit that it intersects.

There’s no despair in my reflection here. This week I created a map of Conestogo that I think is exactly what it should be. All the details—the lined contours, the border measurements, and especially the lettering—was a celebration for my hand. But, while this step landed on firm earth, my next step in creating a new process map of the local colours, faltered and failed.

So, now I’ve found my way back to solid ground by retracing my process and practicing what I know. Over the long weekend I’ll try leaping again …

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