(available through my web site)
"Trusting the process is based on a belief that something valuable will emerge when we step into the unknown."
I've been reading a book by author and artist Shaun McNiff entitled "Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go," and I'm finding that it is, indeed, helping me to approach my fiber art from a more relaxed perspective. With chapters such as "Stepping Into the Unknown," "Mistakes and Distortions," and "Play and Ornamentation," Dr. McNiff encourages the reader to embrace the miscues and failures that are an inevitable part of the creative process. He suggests emptying one's self of preconceptions and viewing the "repetitious rituals and patterns of expression" as new elements that are occurring in the moment.
When it comes to my creative process, I find that I have to work at not working so hard; I'm not always successful in my efforts, but I'm improving. I'll be honest here (we're all friends, aren't we??): I've thrown out several of my attempts at fiber art along my journey. But I'm also taking more of my perceived mistakes to their conclusion -- with surprisingly pleasing results. It's very freeing, isn't it?
Dr. McNiff has a wonderful idea for promoting what he refers to as "emanation: a process of one thing emerging from another." Many artists already practice this when they work in a series. In order to describe this idea adequately, I'll share it with you in the next post. Until then, may we all remember that "failed expressions close some doors and open others."