Wednesday, October 26, 2011

just do

I have a lot of bad habits.  Some of them make my life more fun, others make my life more difficult. One I'm starting to notice is my habit to wake up in the morning, and while still laying in bed, start thinking about all the stuff I need to do that day.  And, thinking about the things I forgot to do yesterday.  Also, thinking about the things I want to do, but probably won't have time for.  This has the effect of making me tired all over again before I've even gotten out of bed. And like not doing anything.

Thinking like this can be particularly corrosive to the creative process, where I can think my way out of ideas before I've even tried them.  My friend Jolie, who gives me brilliant flashes of insight and likes to tell me what to do, has demonstrated the creative process to me this way: She puts one arm up above her head, palm open, then pulls her fist down to her heart, and then opens it again as she throws her arm out.  Jolie describes this mime act as an "open channel," the way that the most inspired art is created.  She's always encouraging me to work on instinct, rather than through my head, where the creative flow can get stopped up, then trapped. 

In the spirit of practicing less thinking and more creating, I'm trying a philosophy I named "just do."  And this is said in a calm, flowy way, not in the nike advertising way of "just do it!"  which is so damn pushy, and not very encouraging.  In fact, I think "just do it!" is designed to make you feel bad, because most people won't, but you can buy a pair of shoes, and then feel like you did.  

Anyway, "just do" is a way of reminding myself to stop thinking, and just go do what I'm meant to do.   Which is making things.  And answering the emails of people who want me to make more things for them specially. "Just do"  means getting out of bed when I wake up, so I can go to the studio to make the stuff I need to make  and want to make.  And not thinking about whether it will sell or if it's a stupid idea.  Also, to "just do" means minimizing distractions and goofing off, which I have become supremely awesome at.   I've mentioned lately how I think I've lost my focus, and the more I think about losing my focus, the more I find myself organizing my tools or scrubbing clay off the wall.  Anyway, I'm going to leave you with this quote I found on the walls at one of my watering holes, and get back to my work.

There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist. --Charles Rennie Mackintosh