Keep On and Creative Flow

I have a painting called Keep On. Technically, it's not particularly good but it is particularly important to me.  

Almost any creative will tell you there's a creative flow, a groove, a mindset that we get in when we're doing our best work. It probably shows slightly different face to each person. I can physically feel it. I know when it's happening and I know when I'm doing good work. I feel its void when it's missing.  

12_PL - Keep On_Keep On_Kaitlin Merchant Davison art - 1500.jpg

The day I created Keep On it was gone. I was cranky. I was tired. I didn't feel like doing it. 

Those moments are the very most important do get up, get over yourself and just do it. It might suck. It might not feel good. But do it anyways. 

One of my figure drawing teachers told us that you get to a certain point as an artist that your growth becomes more about quantity than quality. Churn through those poses, mess up, do a terrible job. Whatever, just do it. And with enough of the ugly, you will have incredible beauty. This is especially true if you have a good technical base to work from. Over time, the quality becomes better and the frequency you're producing amazing work at becomes more and more often.  

I've had some kick ass teachers.  I love how nuggets of wisdom can burry themselves in your mind and come out when you need them, even a decade (or more ;) ) later. 

That's where I was with Keep On that day.  Just do it.  So I did it.  Trusting that the quality would come later.  And did it ever.  The next 10 pieces I made were stunning.  One after another was my best work - and some of it was a whole new type of work I had done very little of previously.  

What would have happened if I didn't pick up my paint brush (or qtips) that day? Because let me tell you, when you don't have a boss or coworkers to let down, slacking off can be pretty tempting. Who knows? Chances are I would have less work that I'm not as crazy about.  Maybe my show wouldn't have been as successful as it was.  

Every day matters.  Every time you pick up your paint brush, guitar, pen, keyboard, camera, knife, whatever your tool you use to create, matters.  Even if the work is terrible, you did it. Keep doing it, keep trying to get better but most importantly Keep On.