Today Robert wrote to me about ” The Basket List”.
It is the list of things we need to try in our work. My own lists are most often of newish observations made in nature, or creative ideas, but they can also include motifs and techniques noted in the work of others. He says if I don’t keep adding possibilities I might become a basket case. which means my art will stagnate.
He further explains – Each one of us looks out into the world and sees our next step. No matter how pedestrian the observations seem, we need to make them our own. It’s one of the great principles of making art: “Name it and claim it.”
well, it’s easy for him to forward such advice since he has dared to do new things for a long time now – tried, tested, failed and revived. Not easy for novices like us who worry almost every night – am i creative enuff? and fiddle with what if? what next? and who are scared to dare?
Inspiration is not something that floats in the air like some radical gas to be collected in fairy nets; it is more effectively generated by a basket of practical ploys. Further, for flawed individuals like ourselves, it’s easy to see something, have a vague idea that it’s something special, then pass by and forget it. The written list and the quick sketch nail fleeting wisdom to the intransigent brain. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” (Jack London)