Imprisoned early and left to rot: Retro-Blog 4

The Retro-Blog: Looking back at the development of a successful creative project in 2006 and the lessons learned along the way.


By the next day (24/01/06) I find I have
had a good talk with X‘ and ‘Plucked up the courage to tell her that I didn’t want to show her my work and how I felt I had been deeply, aversely affected by having had to show to so many people lately.

X articulated for me – very perceptively – how I might feel that other voices were drowning out mine and how a journey that is currently very much orientated towards following this “whisper” into unknown territory could be rail-roaded by the need to produce acceptable “products”.

X finds it surprising that I feel like this as she thinks of me as confident. I tell her that

the me of the “whisper” is a part of me that I had lost touch with almost completely and so I have to find a way to integrate this “new” part of me into the rest of my personality because she doesn’t really have a place.

I realise that this part of me once did have a place but she was ‘imprisoned early and left to rot in jail although she never died completely‘ thank heavens!

I return to Spain determined to have some sort of ‘project goals’ regarding my art-making over the coming months:

If I don’t commit myself to something concrete, I’m going to be unable to resist being thrown by other people’s projections when they come along…(and I won’t)…hear the voice that was telling me what I did want to work on…

A vague plan begins to formulate in my mind but I struggle with how to affront the problems of my own (lack of) self-discipline:

I would like to do something with the Manchester tree stuff…I need to commit myself to stages e.g.,

1. Work on five photos on the computer over the next week or two.

2. Print the photos out and put them up in the studio.

3. Do some follow-on play sessions using the photos as a basis.

I still don’t know if this is right…I’m not sure I can formularise the process…that’s not what its supposed to be about. I have to go back to trusting the process…but if I can’t timetable hours and I can’t formularise the process, how do I make sure I do ENOUGH work and how much IS enough?

Perhaps all I can do is to try to return to the question everyday of “What am I going to do as an artist today?” and make sure that at least on five out of seven days there is an answer-in-action to that. I hope that will create the desired result of increased, self-perpetuating momentum!

I find myself with a need to delve deeper into my own psyche and I wonder if I could not ‘try to remember something more about this self who became just a “whisper” and what motivated her and what moved her on?



  1. Barbara Ann said

    I like your plan and I think it will work. It’s like being more happy when you smile. I can so identify with needing some kind of discipline to achieve what I want to do instead of just thinking about it and talking about it … but seems we go through these cycles beyond our control sometimes. And that’s okay, too. But the action of being creative is so much more joyful than the pondering of it!


  2. WildCherry said

    I was in a deeply pondering mood at that time, Barbara Ann! Probably because I was still very early in the development of my re-found existence as an artist…Having said that, I still find the pondering a very important part of my creative process as it helps me stay in touch with my inner voice. Perhaps one day, I won’t need it but right now its essential!

  3. Barbara Ann said

    Yes it is essential. It’s a way to “get down to the bottom of things” and find out who we really “are” and what we really want … and for me, that seems to change a lot so I can’t really put a finger on it … very elusive. I’ve been going through a yearlong pondering period with not much concrete to show that I’m an artist. It’s been two years since I got tired of creating beadwork and stopped doing it, planning to begin drawing and painting more. I’m making a little progress, and a little is better than abandonment.

  4. WildCherry said

    When I wrote these entries in my diary (in 2006 – almost two years ago now!), I was going through just such a period as you describe! I had been earning my living by making jewellery (strange synchronicity here!) but was forced to give it up due to a frozen shoulder.

    Like you, I decided to return to making art but I had not done it for so long, that it took a lot of work to get my artistic voice used to speaking again…Perhaps a period of being lost, is essential to then being found;-)

    A lot of the time – also like you – I felt that I didn’t have a lot to show for my new-found direction, both output and confidence have increased over time. (You will see how this began to happen to me as the blog-story develps over the coming weeks) and I’m sure the same will be for you too as I’ve seen your work and I know you are a very talented lady!

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