The loss of a sense of separateness, of self-as-artist, isn’t an uncommon experience for artists, writers, actors and performers – or perhaps anyone in deep intimacy with their task-at-hand. But it’s not commonly written or talked about, so I was delighted to find a blog post by artist Meg Hitchcock on exactly this theme. Amazingly, we were writing these observations at around the same time – Meg in New York and me in Queensland Australia. Memes at work?
Meg Hitchcock, Radiance
When I’m particularly absorbed in the creative process, I lose awareness of myself as someone to attend to. Instead there is an awareness of an energy flowing through me that requires no explanation, no assistance, no tending to. I am conscious of consciousness, and compelled to do only one thing: stay out of the way. Just keep working, don’t analyze, try to ignore thoughts, and keep plugging away at the process at hand.
At the moment I’m cutting up the Koran with an x-acto blade letter by letter, and reassembling it into the Book of Revelation. Pretty rote stuff. But there are a lot of aesthetic decisions to be made as I work, so I can’t just put it on autopilot. I’m present insofar as I decide where the line of type is going to be placed on the paper, but my ego involvement is minimal. That’s when everything’s going well. When things go badly, it’s because I’ve thought too much, and my ego has slipped through the gap. My flat files are filled with paintings and drawings that were done by my ego. Boring stuff.
I hear actors talk about losing themselves in the role they’re playing. Ironically, when there is no trace of the actor, that’s when she gives a brilliant performance. It’s the same with visual art. Closing the gap and losing oneself is what creativity is all about. When the artist disappears, pure creativity radiates, and consciousness unfolds into more consciousness.
– Meg Hitchcock
Read the entire post at Meg’s blog: http://meghitchcock.blogspot.com/2009/09/consciousness-creativity.html
Image source – Meg Hitchcock’s website
Meg’s work and writing also appears at the awakened eye website