I have discovered there is SUCH a difference in the way creativity flows when it’s exercised voluntarily for fun vs for hire.
When I was songwriting regularly, I would have co-writes set up back to back and it took a little bit of the joy away from the craft because it wasn’t spontaneous and real…. it was scheduled and contrived. The same is true when it comes to painting. Whenever I’m hired to do a painting for someone, it’s typically a recreation of a photograph so I feel more like a xerox machine than an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I love the work and the fact that someone thinks highly enough of what I do to pay me to do it, but it’s work. It’s deadlines and stress and pleasing someone who has something specific in mind. It’s not art.
Tonight we’re attending a birthday/house warming party and I knew I wanted to paint something for a gift. My original idea was to make a wooden sign with some smart ass saying on it … you know the kind that look all fancy and you assume will say something poetic, but end up quoting Tupac instead. A “tipsy target” run with the birthday girl, however, led to a new idea. She loves birds and I’ve ALWAYS loved the bird on a wire creations that, honestly, have become a little overdone. Doesn’t matter though cause my love for it + her love for birds made it the perfect project and one I actually was excited to do.
In just a couple hours I had a finished product. It’s simple and something most anyone with even the slightest painting skill could do, but it’s art. And, more importantly, it was fun!