Thursday, November 6, 2014

Trusting the Process

Today I introduced my little art class to the concept of "found object sculpture". I dumped a bag of odds and ends onto their tables, explained the process, and waited to see what they came up with. What these kids created was nothing short of wonderful. With no instruction on what to make, they just followed their imaginations.

What they chose to use in their sculptures said a lot about each of them. Their final products told even more. But best of all, everyone was working with the same junk. Somehow, between me dumping the bag out and cleaning up, art was made. That's how the process works. Raw materials, ideas, and the process. This is why in life we must always trust the process.

What we have may not seem like it at first, but given time, thought, and process, it becomes art.

Here are two sculptures from my students:

by Kassie
by Rebekah

Everyone's process is different, so everyone's outcome will be different too. Rebekah's bold nunchaku figure bore no resemblance to Kassie's delicate dress on its tiny wire hanger, but the pieces were equally amazing to me. Both students had nothing that could've been called art by itself, but look what they made.

It might take awhile and a lot of mistakes to make the art you want to make, but process takes time. Process will include finding your way around problems or through them. If you don't have the skills to tackle a particular problem, developing those will be part of your process. Taking breaks, going a different route, and learning from those with more experience, is all part of the process. So don't get discouraged when you feel like a newb and need to ask questions.

Giving up one pursuit in favor of another isn't weakness, it's wisdom. You achieve goals more quickly when you focus your attention like an arrow. Your focus will waver if your goal isn't something you're passionate about.

Like a fellow writer told me, choose one thing at a time to master or you'll be mediocre in everything. When you choose something, put all you have into it.

Don't wait for things. While one goal is processing, pick up another and throw all you have into that. If Winter is a bad season for drawing, write. If you'd rather step away from the keyboard and into the studio, draw.

Above everything, have fun. Enjoy the time you're given to try something new or revisit something old. Trust the process.

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