How we rearrange and combine them to make new things. A journey through post-its, thumbnails, and watercolors. A trippy vignette.
A lot of artists think that suffering is necessary but in reality, any kind of suffering cramps the flow of creativity. If a person is suffering, then they’re creating in spite of that, not because of that.
It’s been a weird winter here in NYC. It’s the middle of February but there’s been no snow to speak of. Temperatures went up as high as 60ºF recently.
Meteorological weirdness piles on top of a sense of dislocation and out-of-it-ness that I’ve been feeling for months; dealing with family emergencies, walking away from a relationship, being away from home.
I think most people would agree that it’s healing to be in creative flow. Ironically, that kind of mobility also requires a level of looseness and joy that’s hard-gotten when one’s low or depleted. For whatever reason, I’m going against what I’d normally do when I’m lost or tired, which is to step away. Maybe I don’t have the energy right now to simply be still? Or to only consume? Maybe I just want to keep moving, to feel animate.
If not exactly flow, going through the motions has been leading to what feels like an intermittent unsticking, and glimmers of a place that looks nicer than where I’m starting from.
A good exercise for anyone who feels stuck in a creative endeavor, including, I believe, life: make some pieces that you can move around, rearrange, and combine.
This is what came out of it, for me:
Do what you can, friends. No rules.
Read on to see the pieces, process, and story behind this trippy triptych, and why it was worth going through the motions for.
This issue is an example of a promised TLB value in action: supporting members’ creative practices by sharing specifics of my own.
I’m also trying to prioritize knowledge-sharing with members while still taking care of free subscribers. I might experiment with a higher-up paywall once-ish a month (like today!) instead of trying to split up every issue, which was the original plan. This way everyone gets full issues at least some of the time. Non-members can always take a peek around the wall via free trial, too. Feels like a good balance, yeah?
Lastly—TLB is again a featured Substack publication, as it was in 2022. Honored to be featured on Substack’s homepage this week. Thanks for reading ❤️
If you were to look over my shoulder the past few weeks, you’d have seen me using these tools and tricks:
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