07 June 2011

reinvention, cont.

mural at Argonne Community Garden
mural at Argonne Community Garden
Reinvention. I thrive on it. I need it.

I'm in the midst of it.

I'll be honest: I'm having a really. good. time. I'm making things (or the seeds of new things). I'm learning new tricks, trying new ideas, making long lists of more ideas. Rather than willing the clock forward, I'm now dragging myself away from this new work reluctantly at the end of each session.

But, as anyone else can tell you... Becoming something new is hard. Finding a new foundation of just what it is I do is real work. There are doubts, and there are moments of true spark, and there is the satisfaction of some progress.

Trying ideas, discarding, winnowing, choosing.

new work

No matter what creative area I've attempted (graphic design, art history writing, or this new art-making)... my biggest challenge is not what my hands or mind can or can't do. It's keeping my head pointed in the right direction. A positive direction. For me, in the creative process, there are many moments of elation and excitement... too many ideas to jot down and try out.

But also... if I'm not really disciplined (keep moving, keep moving), there's this sneaky monkey called inertia and doubt lurking in dark corners, whispering, "maybe you really can't... why are you trying this... what makes you think you can..."


But. Most days, I know I can. That's the thing. I have done, and will do again. I guess it's just keeping my head clear and knowing that just showing up and trying is half the battle (or more). Being creative is hard work. Newness is messy and raggedy around the edges. And I'm IMPATIENT. (You too?)


And so... something to share. Something I like:

I found this video via Margaret Roach's blog. It's a TED talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and PRESSURE. I never felt compelled to read Eat, Pray, Love (should I??) but she's pretty fearless and lovable in this video.

Gives one (me) the courage to tell that doubt-monkey to shut up and just put in the work.


  1. i'm so excited for you. i know the doubt monkey well. i know you can do it. i've been a witness to all the amazing things that you have manifested.

    i will be joining you at the reinvention table after june 15. i gave notice last week. it's wide open, which is scary and exciting all at the same time.

    i loved this ted video the first time i saw it. thanks for reminding me. i'm going to give another listen.

  2. Desi, wow wow wow! I'm so excited for you! I might get a little too much pleasure out of people quitting their jobs ;)

    Can't wait to see what you do. You've always been so encouraging, and it's my turn to say YOU can do it. Yes.

  3. yay for both of you. i love seeing you going for it and going after the dreams. super duper inspiring. kick that monkey to the curb. xoxo

  4. I think all artists have doubt riding on their shoulders. In some ways I think it is just as good as it is bad. But for me, there is nothing greater than being in that creative zone where literally nothing can stop me. I can't wait to see what you are working on!


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