Monday, July 30, 2007


For me, living the art life meant a dedication to painting--a complete dedication to it, making everything else secondary. [It] is the only way you're going to get in deep and discover things. So anything that distracts from that path of discovery is not part of the art life ... It seems, I think, a hair means that you need time.

You don't just start painting. You have to sit for a while and get some kind of mental idea in order to go and make the right moves. And you need a whole bunch of materials at the ready. For example, you need to build framework stretchers for the canvas. It can take a long time just to prepare something to paint on. And then you go to work. The idea just needs to be enough to get you started ... then it's a matter of sitting back and studying it and studying it and studying it; and suddenly, you find you're leaping up out of your chair and going in and doing the next thing. That's action and reaction.

But if you know that you've got to be somewhere in half an hour, there's no way you can achieve that. So the art life means a freedom to have time for the good things to happen. There's not always a lot of time for other things.


The idea comes to you, you can see it, but to accomplish it you need what I call a "setup." For example, you may need a working shop or a working painting studio. You may need a working music studio. Or a computer room where you can write something. It's crucial to have a setup, so that, at any given moment, when you get an idea, you have the place and the tools to make it happen.

If you don't have a setup, there are many times when you get the inspiration, the idea, but you have no tools, no place to put it together. And the idea just sits there and festers. Over time, it will go away. You didn't fulfill it--and that's just a heartache.

--David Lynch, Catching the Big Fish
with italics by Heather


I design a little for the Web, and after reading this excerpt, I can see that designers and artists seem to have similar requirements for getting into a creative mood.

I like to take a few hours after dinner, lock myself up in my room, dim the lights, put on a Russian symphony, and just sit in front of Photoshop and doodle. Echoing the words of Lynch though, I need an adequate amount of time to make these sessions fruitful.


By Blogger Heather, at 2:27 PM  

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