Inspiration Shot: Quote by Juan Gris

You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.
–Juan Gris (1887-1927), Cubist painter and sculptor

SandyInspired Comments: I discovered this quote this week (week 11) of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. This week is about recovering a sense of autonomy and creating work that wants to be created. This is a concept I have been grappling with.

When I let my imagination lead me wherever it needs to go, characters and stories write themselves, and doodles become interesting explorations of patterns and unexpected subjects. However, I am such a control freak that I keep catching myself strangling creativity with guidelines and predetermined destinations. I find that story snippets or fledgling sketches are thrown out because I decided before sitting down in front of the page what the result would be. Nothing kills a story or a drawing like a master plan does.

So I agree with Juan Gris. As an artist, knowing the final destination defeats the journey. You will most likely stop before you get there; or if you manage to power through, your result with be but a pale imitation of what you so intricately planned out. I am going to follow the same piece of advice from this quote and my fiction writing course instructor: I am just going to show up at the keyboard with a good sense of who my character is, but let him tell his own story in his own words. I will open up to a blank page in my sketchbook and let the pen cut its own path across the paper. I hope that you will let yourself do the same in some small area of your life, and I hope it leads you somewhere delightfully unexpected!


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