Original, fresh, new, innovative, groundbreaking.
Find your myths. Find your idols, symbols, guardians, guides, angels, totems, whatever you want to call them. Call them cliches if you want. Find YOUR cliches, and love them, squeeze them and hold them tight.
What reoccurs in your dreams? Moments of synchronicity? What image do find yourself spontaneously drawing, even if you dread its appearance in your work? Therein lies gold my friend.
How does that symbol change over the days or years? What happens if you combine it with other symbols? What happens if you write a poem about it? Dance it? Sing it? What kind of beat does it have?
If you are tired of a symbol, bored with it, let it rest. But if you are staring at a blank page, invite those friends in, whether it is a recognizable image, or a particular way you love to move the brush, a trusted color that dazzles you. Reiterate, repeat, over and over. Experiment, let go. Let them speak, dance, and play.
What else is it trying to say?
[if you haven't read it, check out The Dot]
In my research, I realized I was trying to come up with an entirely new vocabulary for myself. I was not allowing my pantheon to appear or even say anything in my work. Locked out! Why? Because I thought I had to make totally new work.
Why was this so, so silly? The themes I am exploring in my research are inseparable from the period and parts of my life that I am exploring in my research. To not include these beloved, richly meaningful, tender symbols...it totally paralyzed me.
And so I welcomed them in, and felt at home. Here is was a particularly moving sketch, about facing fears, and belonging.
Have a great week my dears.