I have been experimenting with some small assemblage work for some time now and, to date, like many of my creative endeavors, not much has come of it. I’m the quintessential “Jack of all trades, master of
none some“. Assemblage art is not yet a “mastered” medium but I’m having some fun giving it a whirl. (Come to think of it, neither is painting or drawing or anything else, really, as I find I am a dabbler and I’m really okay with that.) I collect things. I hold onto (mostly small) material objects that have some sort of pleasing aesthetic, an interesting texture, a certain ‘feel’ when held, or some sort of personal significance. Sometimes I re-purpose things I’ve previously created, breathe new life into objects from someone else’s past or tinker with little broken things until they somehow look as though they were always intended. I find that I focus on form over function, process over product and I am beginning to feel pleased with some of the results.
This is not a complete piece but it’s getting there. I started working on this assemblage in January (go figure!) and it’s been sitting, half-complete, with some elements in position but not permanently affixed…until this week. This week, I was compelled to begin adhering some of the found objects into their respective places. I don’t know what it needs and I have already moved on to three separate assemblages in the process of working on this piece.
I have been silently guilt-tripping myself for the past 8 months that I’ve not been able to finish this exceptionally small assemblage. It’s been placed in a prominent spot in my work area since I started working on it and, until now, I had the desire but not the vision to bring it closer to completion. I stopped thinking about working on it but kept it in the forefront of my mind, as I look at it practically every day. Suddenly, I started to see things take shape and decided to lock things down (as in…gluing things into place, rearranging elements, etc.). I stopped worrying about putting something in the wrong place or not having ALL of the pieces figured out before I began to make decisions and the process just began to flow. The creation is creating itself. I am just the person putting the elements together to make a cohesive whole.
In learning to quiet my mind (albeit slowly, at times), I am learning to accept my process as uniquely my own; something that cannot be forced, coerced, cajoled or decided upon. I can decide to be creative and to spend time working on something but I find, if I actively choose to work on something before I am ready, it will be a much more painful, unnatural process than it would be had I just waited for inspiration to strike.
What this tells me is that I am letting go of my need to control. I am learning to live in ‘flow’ and allow my creations to unfold naturally, rather than force them to come together before I can fully visualize what all of the components are even going to be, let alone how they will function together. I can start something, work on it until I just can’t see anymore, until the direction becomes unclear, and then I can set it aside for another day and begin working on something else. That’s sort of my process.
Of course, because I live in an apartment, this means I am literally living among my creations. I’ve got walls full of incomplete projects. They look nice, though, I promise. 😉 I’m going to revel in this process and stop feeling a need to rush myself along. As long as I feel pressured (by none other than myself), I am unable to see a project through to completion. So, I will continue to practice getting in “the zone”, or “in flow” as often as possible and just keep visualizing the day I actually have my own studio space. As for now, I’m in the flow, my friends and it feels really nice. 🙂