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.
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.