Pressing Ahead to Beauty

"The Journey Out" oil pastel. Mark Turner, 3/22/17
“The Journey Out” oil pastel, Mark Turner, 3/22/17

This is the sixth in a series which you can start HERE, or review the previous post HERE.  We are exploring the second stage in the creative process as offered in the Table of Creation, the stage of Execution.

Seeking In the Real World

Creators may receive revelations in private, but we are always in some relationship with the world. The execution stage is when we begin to acknowledge our revelation’s place in the world, even to discover what it has to do with our time and place. In creating we are responding to what has gone before, reacting to the here and now, and reaching into what is to come. The choices of methods, tools, materials and genres are part of that search for the form which will be received when we knock on the door of our audience.

Getting Good at Choosing

Discernment grows through the years as I create more and more. My seeking begins even in the inspiration stage as I browse through all the options I have learned are available as vehicles for an idea. Will this idea be best as a play, or a poem, a cartoon, or a painting? Should I begin with a tangible sketch and develop it as digital art? Is this a motion graphic sequence, or a graphic novel? What if the idea could build upon itself by manifesting in several forms, such as a painting, then a film with poetry and music?

Persevering In the Search

You get tired. With all the trial and error, long hours, missed deadlines, lack of funding, etc., etc., you begin to doubt if you can bring this creation to completion, especially if you have no community believing and supporting you, as is common with more innovative creations. Look at the notes you wrote during the inspiration stage and remember the original energy, the early sense of optimistic urgency.

I have an interior image of myself as a sprout underground, pushing up through soil, meeting a large slab of rock or concrete overhead. Life is threatened (and let’s acknowledge we are talking about bringing forth new life). What does the sprout do? It grows sideways. But, no! Growing is always up! Not this time. I’m going to grow sideways until I find the edge. I expect to find the edge, or a crack, or some way, because I am here working on a real creation of life and life cannot be stopped.

My excuse for such an expectant attitude is to say, “I’m an artist.” If you are not in “the arts,” you can say, “I’m a creator, like Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs.”

Like most creators, I am not satisfied to get one inspiration and make just that. My works are a life-long chain of descendants from the ones before. Often one work cannot fully express the original inspiration and other works give a different perspective of it. Successive works become a body of work which shows in a larger way that I am growing and changing in knowledge, skills and wisdom.

Approaching the Final Phase

Always in the back of my mind I know that eventually this evolution of an idea is for other people to receive. There in the original idea is the embryo of a response from the audience of the final creation. This is the presence and call of the third phase to be discussed: exhibition.

Before discussing the exhibition stage, consider two more of the Table of Creation’s questions and suggestions for the execution stage:

Is my search considering a narrow range of materials, words, tools, etc., or could I be drawing upon more options I have learned about? Maybe I need to research new ways to liberate the idea.
Do I expect to find the right combination which will materialize my inspiration?

Be one of the community building around this series. I invite you to get your copy of the art journal/adult coloring book version which I have created for this series. To get your copy click on the “Buy Now” button at right. Then go to our Facebook group page HERE, ask to join and share your experience of the book.