mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF the womb and the world

Reopening Pandora's Box

Lots going on, but still I've been kicking myself for not having a creative project in process. Sometimes the muse plays hard to get — inspiration is nowhere. Nothing to do but pick yourself up by your own bootstraps.

I got out a book called "In the Studio: Visits With Contemporary Cartoonists" by Todd Hignite. Helpful to remind myself what accomplished artists do to keep themselves producing. A few are extremely methodical. Others start anywhere, do anything — just get the story down! Art Spiegelman:

As far as the medium, it’s a little of everything—sometimes there’s no ink or paper. Some elements are drawn and scanned in, some drawn on the computer directly, sometimes doodles are scanned in then totally reworked, some are old-fashioned comic strips done on Bristol Board. ... I go back and forth so much between the computer and drawing board with a scanner between the two, that I lose track of how specific elements were done. Very often, I’ll print something out, trace over that, refine it, scan some terrible sketch in, clean it up, print it out, bring it back… a total back and forth…. I just work on any shitty substrate that I don’t think I’m going to feel tense about losing. Half the originals are done on tracing paper, or whatever else is around.

See? Just do it!

So yesterday I got out my script for Pandora, found all my files, all my sketches. Set up my drawing board.

Pulled out a half-read book by David Mamet — "On Directing Film." He was my mentor and midwife for the day's work, giving me questions to ask myself as I reviewed my previous work and assessed where to go next.

By mid-afternoon I was actually making marks on paper that represented progress.

And if I can't draw very well? I decided to reframe this weakness as a "constraint" — a limitation that will force me to be creative in other ways. Like making a poem rhyme. Like painting a midday landscape without the color green. Just another problem to solve.