Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Projects and Creative Process

Sketch, unfinished

Where oh where have I been?

I had a little bit of a breakdown, actually. Oh, not like that, but after working furiously this weekend, and marinating in angst over finishing my final draft and synopsis and query letters before November 1st so I could start nanowrimo, I realized that I needed another pass of revision, more research on agents, and more time to write a good query and synopsis.

I will not be able to send out my novel this week. Period.

Even though it is better for my book and for me, once I realized that, I got a little funky. I felt like I was trying so hard and working so hard but no matter how hard I tried, I was always left with nothing at the end.

Of course, that's not a true feeling. I am not nowhere now. I have worked hard, but my novel is there, all four drafts of it, and I am farther along in the process than I have ever been. And some time off from the first novel means I will be able to get more feedback from my readers, and have time to make a really good query letter, which is all important. And I will also be able to add another layer of meaning to the book, since I am writing the sequel. (Oh I know people say to sell it before you write the next book, but I would write it even if I didn't get it sold, I do it because I love it, so, thus my decision. And I don't want to miss nanowrimo.)

The truth is art is a process. And something huge like a novel is even more of a process. Or this sketchbook, which is not about one page, but about the whole thing.

I am starting my sketchbook project. My theme is "If you lived here..." It wasn't my first choice of theme, but I had technical difficulties and couldn't get the shopping cart to take my order (for weeks, seriously!) until I changed my subscription and when I finally ordered my journal, my favorite themes were taken.

But, I enjoy a challenge of theme and inspiration, and I thought it would be interesting to see what came up.

I did my first sketch while waiting for my son's school bus. And the second one, too a few days later. And then I realized how much I love some of these cool old houses here in my town. Wondering about what it's like to live there.... And whabam, I had my way in. Not sure what this project will look like when it's done, what it will be like to live there, in that project, but I'm giving it a shot.

But let me tell you, I don't intend to just sketch houses. Something is going to happen to these houses over the course of the next couple of months. I plan to sketch a bunch, fill the book, and then go back over it and add color, detail, print, collage... whatever feels right. I'm thinking Art Every Day Month can help me with getting this done before the deadline. I'll probably have to return to my post bedtime/primetime tv painting schedule to get this done. And I'm looking forward to seeing how the sketchbook project (which I won't get to keep) will affect my art in general.

So that's where I am. With not much final work to show you, but hip deep in process, and done with the angst (for now).


EVA said...

I think you can do a lot with that theme Rowena. Mine (I let them choose) is "I'm sorry I forgot you". Argh! So far there are ideas but with 30 more pages to go...who knows.

Wonderful start! I look forward to seeing your progress!

wild roses grow said...

I missed the deadline for signing up! Think it's a great project though - concentrating creativity around a theme. Enjoy it!

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