The Creative Process

The creative process is like a drug.  There is a high that naturally comes with bringing something into fruition that has never been done before.  I find that there’s a total rush that comes when a project turns out better than you imagined.  And a great feeling of anticipation when something you’ve invested so much of yourself into is so close to being completed.  There is usually a temptation to rush the final stages of a project such as this, as the high is so close, but that results in taking the edge off.  It leaves you less satisfied in the long run.  I’m guilty of this way more often than I’d like to admit, but I’m getting better.

I find this high doesn’t last long however, and like any good junkie, I quickly start looking for the next hit – that next project that was as exciting and energizing as the one just passed.  When they don’t come along for a while, I get restless.

It makes me a good artisan and a questionable businessman.  Don’t get me wrong – I do pretty well at it for a guy who had no interest whatsoever in running his own business.  But given the choice, I will always chase the mechanical rabbit around the track, hoping to catch it eventually.  Once a project is created – unless it is something that is particularly challenging to recreate – I tend to lose interest in it.  That’s why I like to surround myself with talented craftspeople – those who will pay more attention to the details of recreating while I look for the next potential high.

I don’t do what I do for the money (there are way easier ways to earn a living, trust).  I simply have a deep yearning to create.  Shoemaking has proven to be a great outlet for that urge.  There are so many huge challenges on both the technical / biomechanical and the aesthetic / artistic fronts.  These challenges are rarely straightforward, but often rewarding.

Some days you hit the lows.  I wish I could say that I just shake them off and get on with it, but that wouldn’t be entirely honest.  Usually, I’ll get angry.  Then down on myself.  Then I shake it off.  And, most importantly, I learn what went wrong and swear I’ll never to whatever mistake again.  Then I forget that and get on with it.

Today is not one of those days, however.  I’m really close to getting a new and exciting project completed – so damn close to that high – that I’ll be spending the day convincing myself not to rush it.  I need to remember to enjoy it while I can.  The high is fleeting and I’ll be looking for that next elusive hit soon enough.

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