Emerging from the darkness
Heather and I have created a habit of walking every day. On those walks is when we talk, connect and voice any challenges that we are going through or feelings that we are feeling. It was great to have her back yesterday and go for a walk as I was able to give voice to what I had been experiencing.
I kept trying different things to emerge from the darkness, strategies to shift the energy that had worked in the past. As a person who creates every day as a means of making a living, I will be prone to quiet periods, or days and weeks when it feels like I am climbing up a mountain with a 500-pound weight tied to my ankle. I can see my older son moving into that kind of a life, as he has chosen acting as his field of study, and quite possibly, his career. He will be at the mercy of auditions and short-term contract gigs. It will be important for me to pass along whatever insights I can offer.
In our long walk yesterday, several ideas came up that were rather interesting:
Intentionally not sharing anything on social media for a period of days or weeks, then emerging and sharing a body of new work. I can see this being an excellent way of breaking free from the tethers of instant social media feedback and going on a very personal journey.
Earlier this year, I did the 18 Day Painting Challenge. Comprised of taking prompts from the people who follow my page, I would do a quick portrait to start each of my mornings. It was a great way to push myself, create some new work, and create additional interest in my process.
PAINTING JUST FOR ME
When I paint just for the joy of it, I am released from the pressure that arises with whether or not it sells. The example I can give of this is the recent portrait I did of the monk praying.
In any creative pursuit, it is unreasonable to expect that you will be riding the wave every single day. It just doesn't happen that way, though there have been months that felt like the ride was never going to slow down. Gathering a set of tools to shake things up during the quiet times is essential to being able to move forward and find the next wave.