Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sculpting a Life.

Losing Control.
By Susan Gallacher-Turner

For the past month, I’ve taught 3 different project classes in 3 different places, gone to meetings upon meetings, done interviews, and managed to squeeze a few hours in the studio. Ok, I’ve been busy. The point is: how much of these creative projects and time are within my control?

As a self-employed artist, teacher and writer, you might think all of it. I used to think that, too. Not anymore.

I’ve always been a self-motivated creative person. If I wanted to make something, I made it. If I didn’t know how, I figured it out. That might mean reading a book, taking a class or just doing it. Whatever I needed to do, I did it. Myself. I had creative control of my project.

That was an illusion. I wasn’t in control of my creativity then and I’m not now.

I may want creative control, but I don’t have it. It doesn’t matter whether I’m working alone in the studio, on a group project, or in a class with students. Students show up or not. Some people are easy to work with, others not. Ideas that seem good, go bad. Supplies get discontinued.

What I really want is a good ending. That’s why I think I need to creative control. What I need to do is lose control and follow the creative road. Trusting the bends, bumps and detours are all important parts of the journey. And that the end result I’m trying to control isn’t the end at all, it’s just a stop along the way. Sometimes the stops are good. I make a beautiful piece with clay, metal or words. Sometimes, it’s bad. I recycle the pieces and learn something new.

Maybe, creative control isn’t something I really need and don’t really even want. It’s just my fear wanting to drive my life, so maybe it’s time to shift into a different gear. Lose the control and maybe I'll enjoy the ride more.

If you'd like to see some of my sculpture, visit my website Susan Gallacher-Turner Sculpture. And you can read my interviews with people living a creative life on my other blog, Voices of Living Creatively or listen to the podcasts at Voices of Living Creatively website.

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