Artists are sensitive by nature. And when it comes to their flow of work, artists can live with a waterfall of creative delights followed by times of fallow yearning for a creative idea. I feel that all artists have at one point or another in their lives, a time of cocooning themselves as they prepare for their next creative outburst. It can be a form of gestation that allows them to build their work from a wealth of life experience or a burrowing down in times of trouble or despair. The simple truth is that the darkest hours can sometimes be the artists benevolent friend….a trickster in the guise of sorrow, the darkest times take us out of our comfort zone and into survival mode that breeds new ideas and new directions. An artist assumes that the rollercoaster ride of creation is not always quickly forthcoming nor is it oftentimes, easy. And this includes every artist from singer to dancer to painter.
I tell my singers when they feel “stuck” or without focus that this gestation is often a necessary means of forcing us to go inside to find the real depth of inspiration. On “Center Stage” I have delved into the lives of people who wear many hats in their desire to find a creative stronghold. Or those who have lived several different life styles while they search to be brought back to their music or art. But what about those who have explored music early on and then somehow put it on a shelf. I know when creative people set their art aside to become doctors or lawyers that the artistic yen will start to scream at them at some point and they will return to it. Then there are those who have music in their lives constantly but dip in and out while they pursue other creative interests. Songwriters especially need the layers that real life can add to put into their music. Think of every great country western song and you know what I’m talking about. And sometimes a hiatus is necessary to keep the well of inspiration clear. Does that type of gestation bring them rewards in their music making?
Without a doubt it does and sometimes it can be the best thing that happens to an artist.
By and large, anyone who possesses creativity should not be afraid of fallow periods. Instead of looking at it as a “block” or “hitting the wall” perhaps we should all have the courage to reflect on the strength of the quiet aspect it brings. Artists need to refuel and sometimes the best method can be through the art of lying low and of listening to our inner voice…our needs, our fears and our desires. Beauty can rise out of the cocoon.