Friday 25th September 2015Autumn Inspiration
Autumn is a strange and magical time in the world. The transition seasons, Spring and Autumn, tend to bring about a feeling of excitement and wonder, as we watch the world change right in front of our very eyes. Spring certainly has wonder and the promise of growth and rebirth, but we can't deny the necessity of Autumn's sense of closing and ending.
Now before you let that sound depressing, stop and really think about it. At least here in the temperate latitudes, the natural world needs a bit of time to rest, recuperate and weather the storms of winter - and despite what it may seem in our technologically advanced wonderland, we're still a part of the natural world. Consider all the projects you've likely got sitting around your workspace (or your studio, if you're lucky enough to have one). You know the ones. For whatever reason, they've stalled, or you can't quite decide how to finish them. Autumn can teach the value of knowing when to end something, if you let it.
Any number of unfinished projects will build up in the background of your creative life, if you let them. Whether it's because they're frustrating, perplexing, or just not quite perfect enough yet, all that uncompleted creativity can really start to wear you down if you're not careful. We tend to have a limited about of available operating space in our creative brains, and if you don't take the time to clear out the cobwebs every once in a while, it can start to hold you back. Failing that, it might even begin to inhibit your ability to start creating new projects.
Try taking a lesson from the natural world, and take stock of your current creative practices. That old painting that you never quite knew how to finish, or the photo series that defies every attempt to categorize - whatever it is that you've got kicking around, yank it all out into the open and see what can be done with it. If you can finish the project, by all means finish it - but it's also important to know when to end things. Winter is a great time to stay in the studio for as long as possible, but in order for new ideas to start to gestate, it's usually a good idea to clear the way for the next project. Don't let the idea of 'Spring cleaning' decide when you chuck the old and ring in the new, and try Autumn cleaning instead. You never know what might come of it!
Posted on September 25th 2015 on 03:58pm
Wednesday 24th September 2014Autumn Inspiration
It's that time of year again - at least, for those of us in the northern hemisphere. You lucky readers in the southern hemisphere are gearing up for a beautiful sunny spring, but in the northern latitudes it's time to see the beautiful yet somewhat melancholic effects that Autumn brings to the world around us. It's both a time for creation and destruction, though perhaps not in that order. The past must be cleared away in order to make way for the new beginnings that Winter nurtures, eventually expressed in the joyous outpouring of next year's Spring.
This is an inescapable part of living close to the polar extremes, and something that should be embraced in all of our lives, including our artistic lives. While you don't have to let the seasons define you or your work, they can often be a welcome reason to move on, to try something new, or to inspire you to untold heights and previously unexplored artistic pleasures.
As if that wasn't enough, there is a remarkable sense of harmony that can be accessed by aligning your own personal artistic cycles to that of the natural world. It speaks to some deep, inner core of our mammalian brains, those that evolved with the natural cycles of the world before we could consciously understand them - or anything at all. At least in this writer's experience, it's a remarkably rewarding feeling, one that's worth considering as a potential lever in your creative expression.
Whether you do or don't hold with any of that kind of experience, it's still as good a point as any to hinge your creativity on. As Autumn turns, take it as a challenge to experiment with Autumn-themed things - concepts such as change, the cyclical nature of the world, dying for rebirth, and so on. If that doesn't appeal to you, you might at least want to consider the use of an Autumn-toned palette - all the warm colours, from palest yellow to deepest crimson and everything in between.
No matter how you choose to experience it, the coming of Autumn, or any seasonal change, can be a powerful creative catalyst when it comes to your work, if you're willing to let yourself see it that way. All it takes is a little imagination - and you've got that all over!
Posted on September 24th 2014 on 12:01am