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Feeling scattered? Time to dig deeper

by Susan Snipes • September 4, 2020






I’ve been reading the Cold Wax Medium book by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin. One passage in the chapter about finding your personal voice is really sticking with me. If you’re finding yourself and your work scattered across many areas or perhaps you’re finding it hard to focus, that may mean you have not gone deep enough. This is the passage:

Many artists find it hard to focus in one direction. We are complex beings, after all, and there is no rule that limits our self-expression. But if you find your work to be scattered, it may only be touching the surface of what has moved you to create. … Whether too scattered, too constrained, or somewhere in the middle, if you dig deeper you will find new ways to unify and energize your work. As artists we need the freedom to grow and explore, while at the same time retaining a strong sense of what is important and meaningful in our work.

This is timely and relevant for me. I have multiple threads of ideas spinning ahead. They all seem to be moving forward, and I am able to work on them concurrently, Yet, they’re still barely connected visually. I can find the connections if I try. But to the casual observer, I doubt there is much relationship. I think this means they may be too far apart from my core ideas, my most essential works.

I very much take to heart the idea of going deeper. I know I can and must. The closest I’ve come to more resonant depths is with my recent work is “the journey home”. I must continue on in the exploration of those pieces.