Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Every so often, but more often than I wish I would, I go through a period of flux, in which my Internal Creative Compass no longer points in a recognizable direction. And it's happening right now. Yay.

The symptoms of Flux are as follows:

1) a lack of interest in making things (drawings, stories, your bed, what have you), and an inability to appreciate things that you make.

2) eating a whole Pizza Hut pizza for dinner and a bag of SweeTarts for desert every night for a week.

3) a prevailing belief that your life might have been better spent pursuing a career as an E! News host, and that you would almost certainly be less annoying than Sal Masekela.

4) unfavorably comparing your new work to your old work.

5) unfavorably comparing your new work to everything else that can be seen by the naked eye.

6) making sad faces.

7) breaking stuff.

Stop laughing. Flux ain't no joke. It can make you feel like the universe is spinning off its axle, and every time you sit down at your drafting table, you're straining to pull it back into alignment, again. It's never easy to fill up a blank piece of paper, but the journey from A to B, with all it's detours and scenic roads, is the usually the most thrilling part of making art. You're always a little unsure what the results will be, but that's okay, because, at the very least, you know when you draw a line you like. If you keep drawing lines you like, how bad can the picture be? When Flux is involved, it will possess your compass, and no matter what kind of line you draw, it will inevitably tell you that line sucks. Then, it will tell you to draw another line, and tell you that one sucks, too. Flux, with its cruel, shrill, spastic voice, will convince you to ride a rickety rollercoaster and laugh hysterically when your car flies off the track into a rabbit warren, setting it ablaze.

Yet, despite its sadistic and unpleasant nature, Flux is a necessary part of the creative process, because you'll keep beating your head against the wall looking for a cure, until you get so used to the frustration you transcend it. It's like saying the word "milk" over and over. Eventually, it loses all meaning, and you wonder why it was ever called that in the first place. Art is like that, too. There's no right way to do anything, just a set of rules you construct in order for you to classify your work and categorize yourself, for yourself. And every once in a while, you've got to clear the decks and rebuild from the ground up.

Hold on.

What's that, Internal Creative Compass?

Okay, what the hell is a Southleft?


Anonymous said...

I know your ICC is off...but at least you're still funny.

my heart is made of gravy said...

I think I must spend my life in flux.