Some of the most important advice I have ever received about art was from author, Ray Bradbury. He gave this wisdom to writers about the creative process, but I think it applies to artists at any level and of any station. The poetic adage goes like this: “Throw up now- clean up later!”
There it is. Not so pretty a visual maybe, yet extremely profound. In case you got lost in the decorative not-so-Shakespearean verbiage, let me break it down. It means this: Vomit it up! Project it from your bowels! Spew it forth! Don’t worry about containing it or making it presentable. Sometimes an idea, (or concept) at first, is kind of messy. Maybe even a jumble of half-digested bits and only partially assimilated thoughts. Get it out– in whatever shape it comes– and worry about the cleanup later.
Hemingway went through 22 edits of Farewell to Arms before coming to a palatable version that he could live with.
Examination of the paintings of countless Old Master’s canvases reveal as many as four or five false-starts beneath the finished masterpiece.
For years, I broke the erasers off of my student’s pencils. Why? Not to be mean. But for them to keep the messy stuff lightly underneath to guide them.
Creativity sometimes isn’t pretty! This is where the rough sketch comes into play, the rough-rough sketch, and the barely discernible story idea that begins with a single half-baked character and a draft that can’t even be translated by you.
If nothing else, know and expect it to be a process.
Get it up! Get it out! Don’t be too hasty to make it “right.” Keep the mop and bucket in the corner.
But for now . . .
Let it flow.