Saturday, November 21, 2009




Losing control.

For the past month, I’ve taught 3 different project classes in 3 different places, gone to meetings upon meetings, done interviews, and managed to squeeze a few hours in the studio. Ok, I’ve been busy. The point is: how much of these creative projects and time are within my control?

As a self-employed artist, teacher and writer, you might think all of it. I used to think that, too. Not anymore.

I’ve always been a self-motivated creative person. If I wanted to make something, I made it. If I didn’t know how, I figured it out. That might mean reading a book, taking a class or just doing it. Whatever I needed to do, I did it. Myself. I had creative control of my project.

That was an illusion. I wasn’t in control of my creativity then and I’m not now.

I may want creative control, but I don’t have it. It doesn’t matter whether I’m working alone in the studio, on a group project, or in a class with students. Students show up or not. Some people are easy to work with, others not. Ideas that seem good, go bad. Supplies get discontinued.

What I really want is a good ending. That's why I think I need creative control. What I need to do is to lose control and follow the creative road. Trusting the bends, bumps and detours are all important parts of the journey. And that the end result I’m trying to control isn’t the end at all, it’s just a stop along the way. Sometimes the stops are good. I make a beautiful piece with clay, metal or words. Sometimes, it’s bad. I recycle the pieces and learn something new.

Maybe, creative control isn’t something I really need and don’t really even want. It’s just my fear wanting to drive my life, so maybe it’s time to shift into a different gear. Lose the control and enjoy the ride.

2 comments:

goldenbird said...

Well said. I've noticed that when I am able to let go of trying to control my creative projects and just let them shape themselves, they often turn out better than expected. But the letting go is hard. The last couple days I've been thinking a lot about letting go in all areas of my life. Things go so much more smoothly when I'm not trying to control everything.

I enjoyed reading your post very much.

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Michael Turner said...

I agree, the results are better when I let go. Then why or why is it so hard to do???

So glad you're here, sharing the creative process like this helps me so much.

Thanks!
SusanGT