Creative Process...What Creative Process?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole process of creating art...and the method of getting what's "in" (my head) - out.  When you actually give thought to something that you always just let happen, it's easy to draw a big, fat blank.  Like dialing a phone number you've dialed 8000 times and someone asks you what the number is, you can't come up with it without looking at your phone and dialing the number.  I guess that's the long and short of my "creative process" or whatever you want to call it.  It's not as much of a process as it is a habit.

First we make our habits, then our habits make us.
— Charles C. Noble
The Puppet (2010) 

The Puppet (2010) 

What I (and others) Think My Creative Process Is:

  1. Awe-struck genius vision hits me
  2. Magic happens
  3. The end

What My Creative Process Really Is:

  1. Music.  Lots and lots of music.  On repeat.  One song, probably. 
  2. Continue listening to that song for 3 days up to a week until it drives everyone around me insane and never want to hear it again
  3. Picture scenes from the most epic, dark, lovely music video ever to go with said song (there's usually lots of wind and flowy fabrics and stuff happening in them.  Think Marie Antoinette)
  4. Enjoy wine.
  5. Listen to the song again.  And again.
  6. Distract myself with emails, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  7. Ooo!  Maybe I should check out 500px.  There's usually lots of lovely inspiration there.
  8. Oh, dogs need to go outside...
  9. Sit back at computer, contemplate whether my mouse needs new batteries.
  10. Enjoy more wine.
  11. Slowly develop the nerve to approach my camera.
  12. Smoke break.
  13. Who drank all my wine?
  14. Click through all 43 new Facebook notifications.  Like and comment on everything.
  15. Listen to the song again.  Maybe watch the video this time.
  16. Damn dogs pee a lot!  Have to let them out again...
  17. Ooo!  May as well top up the bird feeders while I'm out here.
  18. Seriously, who is drinking all my wine?
  19. Re-assess lighting situation.  It's getting sort of dark now.  Consider postponing shoot until tomorrow.
  20. Google sunset times.
  21. Realize I should probably check my camera battery levels.
  22. Charge dead batteries.
  23. Wardrobe change.  I can't honestly do a shoot wearing this.
  24. Change into 87 potential outfits before I'm satisfied.
  25. Look for wine glass.
  26. Hear The Golden Girls on tv in the living room.
  27. Oh, Sofia!
  28. Marathon watch 4 episodes of The Golden Girls.
  29. Fall asleep on couch.
  30. Re-assess and try again tomorrow.

And, my friends, that is the honest-to-God truth.  I wish I was disciplined enough to have a beautifully simple and reliable routine to get what's in my head, out.  To have "Photo Friday" or Let's-Go-"Shooting-Sunday".  Life is just not like that.  Creativity is not this endless waterfall that just continues to deliver.  For me, it's more like trying to get an 8 month old to eat peas.  You know they're hungry, you know they want to eat.  And despite all your routine "here-comes-the-airplane!"'s and "seriously-kid-just-eat-it-before-I-cry"'s - sometimes, baby just don't wanna eat.  Other days, baby ain't seen nothing more appetizing than that there bowl of peas.  

Creativity and the process of creating art is something you have to have the hunger for (not unlike peas).  You can't force it, you can't make it happen.  As with all good things, it happens when it is supposed to happen.  So if it's not happening today, it's time to put that baby to bed (good thing peas have a long shelf life).