Cleanliness is next to Creative Godliness

Now, I ain’t a worshiper of any omnipotent being as such but I think folk have hit the nail on the head in saying ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’, meaning the second most important thing in life other than worshiping God is keeping clean. I’ve been through a lot the past few years, and it has exhausted my mind, body and soul to the point of hitting random states of depression, rendering prolonged periods of ‘creative block’ and ‘Not giving a shit about anything’. So much so, I’ve neglected my studio to the point where one could not walk into the room without having to climb across objects and desks to use the space. When I did try and work there, the stacked up debris of my life’s collections and work had me spending several days on end shouting at myself to ‘Dig up!’ when trying to generate creative ideas.

Ever see Day of the Dead? Where Bub knows he should be doing actions from muscle memory but he doesn’t know why………….That was me with art & design…………. Just constantly sitting in a destroyed room straining my creative side to be active, without looking after the basics. As a result, every time I put pen to paper, the end result made me shudder and recoil from attempting the action again.

 

Bub

This wasn’t always the case in regards to my entire lifestyle, just on matters of personal time and creativity. I used work at Giant, firstly to keep me sane through tough times and secondly avoiding the emotions that come behind bereavement, so I worked my heart and soul into crazy exhausting hours, and made a number of extremely positive milestones for the company. I also continued to work several hours on Pegbar at night and took any other indie collaborative project going, because I wanted to use up every second of the day so I wouldn’t be alone with myself and my questionable lack of identity.

So lets set the scene, 6.30am rise, 7am in car, 7.45am start work, end around 6.30/7.30pm, get home around 8pm, possibly go get drinks with mates, or work on Pegbar or go home and sit in the messiest of studios, one of which Francis Bacon would have been disgusted by, and debate what I should be creating, how I should go about it, log absolutely nothing into my journals, and never produce anything but frustration by the end of it, watch netflix until 2/3am and then hit bed before starting again. In between everything was all the big ‘no-no’s of life’, including eating junk food, drinking too much, eating at stupid hours, no exercise, no self respect. This lasted a long time, and then the inevitable happened ………….Jesse Ventrua literally threw me into a wall of spikes –

Well that is what it felt like in anyways………I totally hit rock bottom only to be surrounded by a messed up situation I had been building with ignorance. It was some shock waking up into reality.

So first step to recovery, coming from the advice of Sharon, was to clean up the studio, which I had been saying I would do for several months, yet the place had been getting filthier and filthier as my ignorance grew. So on the 13th and 14th of July we cleaned it together as I was clearly not able to do the job myself. (See posts below/in archive)

From aftermath of the clean up, the results were a revelation to me on how important space is to someone’s creativity. Previously, I was always a preacher of creative space can be anywhere as long as the determination was there, now I’m a firm believer in creative space can be anywhere as long as the artist is comfortable there. For example, when taking public transport, I’d be able to jot notes and ideas down, just like I would in the studio, or in a cafe or wherever, as long as I felt comfortable, however, if someone was leaning against me, basically intruding on my space or kids where playing music through their phones, or a bunch of hyperactive/curious drunks/junkies where close, I wouldn’t be able to take out the notebook comfortably enough to work away. Obviously determination is cleaning the space to make it habitable, but when you’re low on determination and sitting in a dump, it is extremely hard to motivate one’s self to do anything.

This now cleaned up studio space allows me to think clearly, debate concisely, research thoroughly and produce work easily. Going home to create from nothing has transformed from burden that I was forcing myself to do, into an actual privilege that I don’t want to lose again. It puts perspective on life and what I have to do/sacrifice to achieve my own life goals and wants. Prolific Dan is making his way back – expect the biography to come out soon

I still have a roller coaster of mayhem ahead of me but this simple action of reclaiming a space by cleaning it has put me back on track for bigger and brighter adventures.

 

Giant are featured in the Sunday Independent today

Giant are featured in the Sunday Independent today.

dan_independent

The insider scoop behind that dapper shirt was that when I took the phone interview, the journalist arranged for a photographer to be at our studio first thing in the morning the next day. Due to this summer’s whopper heat, I had a tee & beach shorts on. I had also arranged that I was going out to dinner in Naas, and spending the night out there with Sharon. So I thought I would be able to buy a simple plain shirt out in Naas as shorts and a shirt would be acceptable attire.  After finishing work, I head to to Naas and find that all clothes shops were closed and any chance of a shirt was slim til none. Until I remembered they had a 24 Tesco on route to Sallins. This was my first time clothes shopping in Tesco’s, and am still freaked out by the idea of being able to clothes shop, whilst grocery shop at the same time. How in ever, my cynicism can shut up because I found this jazzy number amongst some crazy eclectic crap in stock and I had to get it.

Maybe following suit with John Lasseter’s school of thought on Hawaiian shirts, I could imitate it with Paisley print shirts…………. (I highly doubt it)

Clean Studio

Oh me oh my, its been a while since my last post. If anyone has been following my twitter, facebook or tumblr, they’d know I’ve been working around the clock. Since my last post Giant has been making some significant leaps, Pegbar is creating a strategy for our long term goals and I’ve been traveling a lot on business.

Its also been a long time since the home studio got some love and attention. Definitely over a year and a bit, to which it gradually turned into a dumping ground and cesspit for everything else.  Which I feel really guilty about. However, this weekend, Sharon and myself tackled the problem head on. 2 person job for 2 days and now I have a two person working studio, equipped with my record player and my library of art books.

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You don’t know how good I feel now…….cloud nine doesn’t come close. It’s like I have a creative home again. A personal space to retire to and create from a blank canvas/sketch/space. I regret not taking a before and after picture, to explain how bad this room got, but if I had, I probably would have been too ashamed to show it.

Here is the last painting I did in the room, at a time where 3/4s of the room was a storage, life was nonstop and I was in a bad place. The painting had been sitting in its own mess since.  Its acrylics on canvas. After the wash was applied to the canvas, I only used a trowel to paint with.

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