It's something that I've chatted about on blogs I contribute to over the last year or so, the disconnect from the creative process that sometimes comes with being a commercial artist. Everything is fast, everything is edited and everything is needed yesterday. There were three things that revived these thoughts of disconnection recently - an interview with Tavi where she discussed her parents encouragement to create art and read as much as possible and how she still did all the time, the second was the decision by an artist I know to take a six month break from commercial work, and the third was hosting Beci Orpin as a guest lecturer at one of my art classes.
Part of me can understand the decision made to take a 6 month sabbatical from commercial work ( I'm not planning one though) - artists enter the commercial world with great aspirations of making their favourite hobby a job, imagining the bliss of doing what they love every day. Don't get me wrong it is much better than being cooped up in a cubical working for the man, but there are moments when the creativity is sapped and you really are just ticking boxes the same as everyone else.
When Beci Orpin came and spoke to my students she shared stories of her time at University and how she then did everything by hand. My students looked bewildered as she pulled out an old journal and showed her mass collection of inspiration, sketches and even repeat patterns that had been done manually using acetate, redraws and a whole lot of tape. It reminded me of all the collecting, note taking and sketching I did at school and made me realise that despite not being that much younger than me, my students are missing out on all the hands on fun. Beci shared how she daily sits at a computer for eight hours with commercial work, but what grabbed my attention most was that she still manages to keep a journal just as she did at University.
What happened to my journal? I've been trying to pinpoint the time where my journal disappeared, I have paper scraps, note pads and work all over the place, but there isn't a journal in sight, I think I am missing out on something, I most definitely am. Boy on sabbatical was once an amazing journal sketcher too, and part of me wonders if his journal got lost in a world of art"work" causing his artistic hump. With this discovery of my inadequacy I have decided that two times a week I will print, stick, chop and write in a journal, I'm sick of saving to hardrives and locking everything away, I'm going to get amongst it and reconnect with my journal roots, watch this space and i'll update you with my progress.