It’s true what they say about job hunting being a full time job. It’s pretty all consuming, and creatively sapping. It’s also never ending – there’s always another job around the corner to apply for, a further tweak to make to the CV.
So the other day I did something really brave: I turned off my PC off and decided to paint something. Now this was really hard: dropping everything and focusing for a few hours on a painting. I felt like I ought to be doing something really productive (like another application form) rather than messing around with paints.
But it’s been like this for roughly the past four years, which is the amount of time I’ve been in this London houseshare, and the amount of time our large kitchen wall has remained bare. From the day I moved in I said I’d paint something, and four years on, still a blank wall. The reason is maybe a mixture of procrastination and not being able to decide what to paint.
So I bought a large canvas and the other day and began to paint. After a couple of hours a blue bird began to emerge from the blank canvas (I’m copying a lovely Wedgwood design – The Orange Bird). It’s not perfect by any means, but it was satisfying. I’ve toned down the orange background a bit as this would be way to garish for any kitchen wall.
Quite often I find I’m waiting for a creative moment in order to be creative, whether it’s painting or writing. And the result is that quite often that creative moment doesn’t come, so I get on with something else.
I read this the other day and it helped a lot: “Don’t wait for the muse to inspire you, to put you in the mood. That comes only with doing. So do. Momentum is a lot easier once you overcome inertia… Move a little bit and the muse will get behind you and help you push” (Danny Gregory in the Creative License).