“Even God can’t steer a parked car.” -Mary Omwake
In one of those perfectly-timed messages, I found the above quote at a time when I was procrastinating. It made me laugh and got me to scrape the proverbial glue from my shoe and get moving.
I’m slow and careful by nature and I have to vigilant that my deliberateness doesn’t end up translating into inaction.
A number of years ago I participated in a collaborative project working with a group of artists. Our task was to each produce a card for a deck. The card was to be a tip or practice we used to spark our creativity; and the purpose of the deck was to have a stack of these ideas available to draw upon whenever we felt the dreaded “artist block” rearing its ugly head.
I call this practice Secret Language. It involves starting a collection of slightly odd and strange words clipped from wherever you come across them. Single words are okay, but it’s better to have phrases so later you can edit them if necessary by clipping off an unneeded word or two.
From your stash of words/phrases randomly pull out about a dozen. Look them over briefly but don’t particularly focus on them. You want to be working on more of a synchronistic/subconscious level.
Next, pull out three of four images from your stash. Try not to think about it, just pull things that seem “right”. I like to believe my Muse is guiding me here.
Go back to your selected text and see if you can pull together a sentence that might somehow work with one or more of the images you picked. But try for something odd that makes you stretch. If it turns out you can’t get an image/word fit, focus on coming up with a sentence that intrigues you and settle on that. Then return to your image file and pull things that might work.
And then the play begins. With odd labels our perception is changed. See where the words/images take you, and what art happens.
I think it’s helpful to have a bag of tricks and inspirations to dip into whenever I’m feeling stuck, not just artistically, but any time I need to see with fresh eyes.
What things do you do to shake it up?