Friday, June 22, 2012

Artistic Evolution: The End of the Crustacean Period

Performing at Happily Ever After
 (photo by Dancing Images Photography).
As an artist of multiple art forms, I have to listen to critiques very carefully.  I've learned over the years that a critique in one art form usually holds true for the rest.  For instance, I've spent my summer studying Lyrical/Choreography under Jay Howe Jr., who recorded several improv sessions and then reviewed them with me.  He noted that he had never seen my upper body move so freely, but that my lower body needed to learn to extend and be less controlled:
It's like you're coming out of your shell.  This part is free from the shell {he gestures to the upper part}. This part is still trapped {he gestures to the lower body}, in fact this part is your shell.
I remember giving an awkward smile, but only because it was an honest critique.  When I got back to my art studio, I sat back and thought about my other art forms.

  •  Literature--almost all my female characters were distant, cold, and emotionally controlled.
  •  Drawing--simple pen designs of vines and flowers. 
  • Video-- functional and linear. 
 I really was in my shell with only half showing its full potential.

Finding the momentum/courage to explore new territory depends on personality.  Some people are like Nike commercials--they just do it (see commercial below). Others need a new project.  I require classes/video tutorials/travel.  For the next few months, I'll live on Writers' Village University and in addition to anything else I come across.  I with gather information, techniques, and ideas until I just explode into a supernova of creativity beyond my previous achievements.

The trick now is preventing myself from recreating the shell.  Or maybe that's just part of the natural process.  Maybe we always fall into a period where we find that "comfort zone" where we stay until someone tells us that it's time move on.  Normally, I am offended, scared, and defensive when that time comes.  This time I'm looking forward to taking my art to a new level.

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