In a 2008 New Yorker profile, artist John Currin said something about the process of painting that knocked us out because it is SO much about improvising, about making anything where you’re not entirely sure where you’re going:
“…a big part of painting is getting used to things not looking good while you’re working on them. “
A really big part of improvising/making/creating is getting used to things not looking good while you’re working on them. We suspect that is one of the reasons why improvising is difficult for some people:
They’re uncomfortable in the mid-point when things haven’t come together yet, when things look or feel like a mess. Getting used to that unresolved place is essential. At first, it requires faith that things will come together, and patience with the process. After you’ve worked through that a few times, you begin to realize that the wild unkempt place is only a step along the way, and that the answers always come – although sometimes in forms you don’t expect.
We don’t know anybody that doesn’t lose faith in the process here and there. It’s one of the reason’s we collect photos of the messy work spaces of brilliant people - like this one of Einstein’s office taken hours after he died. We need reminders when we lose faith ourselves, and our place or a project seems a big fat mess…
….when really it’s just on the way to becoming…
Photo’s of Einstein’s office via Kottke.