Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Creative Process - New Work

Thankfully, this winter has been easier than last. During the summer of 2008, I created a mask that I call Daedalus (now included as part of the "Classic Collection" on my website which has inspired a series of newer masks and has kept the creative juices flowing during those long, cold days of January.

Before I tell you about these newer masks there's something I want to tell you about the way I work--I'm slow. I do not decide to add a mask in as part of my published collection until I've had plenty of time to sit with it and feel my way through the creative process. As the saying goes, ideas are a dime a dozen, they occur suddenly and are often, in their original form just a stepping stone. When it comes to working through them, I'm critical and I take my time. I say this to let you know that, along with this, goes a fair amount of self doubt. My "aha" moments are repeatedly tempered by the truest test I know of how a mask is developing. At the end of the day I walk away from it and upon entering my studio the next morning I allow my first impression to mean something. If, when I see it again, my senses confirm the ineffable "Ah yes, that's it" response I know--so far so good. Those are happy moments, full of delight, in which I feel like an explorer in sight of new land.

Starting in the summer of 2008 with Daedalus my most recent creations came about in much the same way. There was no shortage of pitfalls along the way but there was and is something about creating this new work that has felt liberating for me in terms of the practical concerns I address during the creation of a new mask i.e. it must fit comfortably, be nicely balanced and not too heavy. This is not to say that these masks do not satisfy in that regard, only that, this time, I didn't feel boxed in by these considerations. Below are two examples. The first image is a mask I'm calling Phoenix. The mask pictured in the photo below that I've named Lotus-Eyed.