Commit To The Process
The phrase, "commit to the process," has been continuously orbiting through my mind, so I decided to give it some attention this week. Often when asked what I do, my first response is to answer "filmmaker." Simple and everyone understands what I do, but what many of you don't know is that being a filmmaker comes secondary to me. I have, and always will be - an artist at heart. I'm not being pretentious or prestigious, just honest. It has only been in the last 5 years of my life that I've dedicated the largest portion of my career to film. I grew up never touching a film camera or making movies, instead I told stories through the characters and places I drew. Art was always at the core of who I am, and to this day an essential part of how I function and process the world around me. Filmmaking is the tree that bears fruit, while art is the river that keeps it alive and is even why it exist.
Routinely I set apart time to draw, paint or doodle, and recently I picked up watercolor and has since been my new found obsession. To sit before a white blank canvas is a humbling experience, for within its void you will see yourself- your fears, your doubts, your possibilities, your dreams, and in that space you must submit as a student to a teacher. Art has never been about form and technique - but about virtues that can be valued in my own life. Such as faith.
Regardless if it's pen, paint, watercolor, digital media or any creative expression, at some point you must take captive that white space, summon beauty out of nothing with sheer courage and grit. You have to commit. The worst drawing, the ones I threw away, are ones I got scared, gave into fear and followed that fear. There will, I repeat, THERE WILL come a time in every creative process when every fiber of your brain will be panicking, alarms blaring in your head and you will doubt what you are doing to the extreme of stopping completely. Everytime I hit that terrifying cross road, I experience amnesia as if it's never expected, you think I would expect it by now....(in fact in the creation of the painting above it happened.. point made.)
Don't give up - commit to the process. By process I mean the creative tools you have, both talent and intuition. You cannot operate without either, it takes skill to know how much pressure to press the bristles to paper and the value of colors for a specific hue, but it also takes intuition, the knowing, the gut feeling, in how you express each stroke, how to convey an emotion. In many ways you're attempting to forge a tumultuous river on a log raft while simultaneously trying to rebuild the raft, to withstand new unexpected waters. Not for the faint of heart.
I believe one of the main difference between artist who have found fulfillment & careers in the creative world, from artist who are too scared to leave the "hobby zone” is, they haven't committed to the process of becoming an artist in the same way an artist must commit to his art. He cannot live separate from what he creates- because he is what he creates.
Hold fast, and next time you stand on that feeble line of despair and failure, cling to that mustard seed of faith, trust your intuition and talent and forde the river.
Commit to the process.