Productivity on the Interim

On Moving

Transition in the physical sense is rough, as it nearly makes continuing my work impossible. I’ve been learning that down time can have its benefits, though, in a number of different respects:

1) Contextualizing your inertia- If you make painting a daily practice, and you should, it can at times be easy to lose sight of your direction. This in itself can be a good place to be working from, but time away can afford you a more fresh approach to your strengths and running dialogues.

2) Redefining your character- Your personal mythology is not something you should generally think about too terribly often, though we all have one to various extents, and it appears more or less continually whether or not we are aware of it. Become aware of it in your time away! If you see an odd reflection in your work, change it, enhance it, embellish it, to whatever level you feel grounded with in your idea of your self.

3) See new work- A few months ago I made a point to see Eddie Martinez’ work on a trip to New York. It was refreshing and exciting, a true inspiration, but now I live in this place absolutely full of new work. See as much as you can in your interim, the effect will undoubtedly be larger the longer your thoughts have to marinate.

4) Read, study, write, play- If you’re to be away from your regular form of expression, take on a new one, a new character. If you’re into knitting or fort building or sidewalk chalking, what better time to do it than now? Personally I’ve had the chance to approach my music (which has been on a silent back burner for a couple years) in a new light, with full focus, and turned the fifteen guitar pieces I’ve made in those years to completed songs, with melodies, lyrics, etc. I feel like I have time to play shows, so I am.

In Short

Nothing is useless to your painting, if you’re so unlucky as to be away for a time. Sure, you will return a changed artist, but your life will only change you for the better. So, get your life organized and continue, if you’re so lucky to find a space, but consider no time “away” from your passion.


This entry was written by Sarvey and published on August 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Productivity on the Interim

  1. 1) Always good to take a step back from your work, which can also be useful as a deliberate practice, not just by circumstance. I also think that redefining “taking a break” is important, like you say, because you can institute such a break by doing something creative in a different medium to stretch and change your brain.

    2) I love the idea of personal mythology. What a great phrase. When you and your ideas of self continue to evolve, it causes the work to change even if this work is not done in the studio.

    3) See new work – Always. It would be really beneficial to me if you could actually find some of those images you are talking about and put them on here to go along with this post. Of course I love your ideas on art in general, but I am also interested in you and your art specifically. So please share the work you’re referencing!

    p.s. SUPER jealous of all the museums you have access to right now. If I lived in NYC I feel like I would see a new museum every day.

    4) Free, unbounded research. So good. Besides music, what else has been influencing your work? Lately I’ve been reading fiction, as well as some books on how emotions are created in the brain. Also, how would you say your music has affected your painting practice? Or vice versa?

    I agree that it is pointless to separate your self from yourself as “artist”. Really the two are one in the same, and your are developing and acting out 1)-4) in the studio as much as outside.


  2. onthefold on said:

    I’ve been reading a lot of music biographies: check out this minibook series titled 33 1/3, which are fifty or so books all around 150 pages, each of which is a short, personalized, freeform writing based on a specific album. The albums, or books I’ve read:

    Pavement- Wowee Zowee
    Jeff Buckley- Grace
    My Bloody Valentine- Loveless

    Each one takes on a different firm, the Jeff Buckley one was essentially a phd thesis on his life, more biography than anything. The Pavement one had a lot of longer interviews, descriptions of this particular writer’s life at the time he first heard the album, etc. You will surely find an album within this series that you have a deep connection to, and it absolutely reframes the way the reading is absorbed.

    I’m going to the MoMa today, enuf said.

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