Yesterday I was sucked into a YouTube vortex and ended up watched a bunch of videos about inspiration and photography. The creative process took a hold of me to the point where at least three new image ideas sprang forth, prompting me to pause the videos in order to sketch and write about the details before I completely forgot the concept.
I keep a small moleskin books in my backpack and around my house for just such occasions. They are ones with pre-printed boxes, like an artist would use to storyboard. This got me to thinking about my own creative process and what makes me tick (a mystery I am sure I will never completely unravel).
When I used to draw, I would feel incredibly intimidated by blank sketchbook pages, especially if the sketchbook was new. My fear and apprehension was exponentially increased the bigger the blank sheet was. Similarly, when I would set out to write the blank lined pad of paper would feel just as intimidating. Oddly, there was something satiating about a beautiful new and untouched pad.
Ever since I was little, and for reasons I doubt I will ever understand, I have had a sort of stationary fetish, if you will. There is something magical for me about getting a brand new sketch pad or set of pencils. I feel as though it is almost wrong to sully its unspoiled and pristine state. I feel a sense of hesitation at making the first mark, like there was some kind of burden of responsibility involved in violating something so pure, that whatever manner it was tarnished had to be done in a truly worthy fashion.
Clearly these feeling are rooted in my long-present fear of failure and of making a totally indecipherable mess of things. To the point where it cripples me from even taking a first step, a road block I have long experienced as an artist. But something clicked in my head this morning, when I was thinking about my little notebooks and the wild abandon I felt at just attacking the blank page yesterday without any hesitation.
I was in the moment and it felt good! I did not care what kind of mess I made as long as the idea in my head was adequately documented. It made me thirsty to again feel the weight of my perceived burden of responsibility lifted from my psyche and to just go without pause and, more importantly, without fear of failure.