It's taken me a while to figure out what kind of creative swing I'm on. As a person interested in more things than my brain can handle, I've discovered that I go through creative swings. For weeks at a time all I will be able to think about is painting. In all my free time I'll race to my paints and spread my canvasses around the room while my guitar, books, and other art forms lay gathering dust. Then my painting swing will taper off and suddenly I'll write three folk songs in a week and spend three more weeks playing them and writing more.
At the beginning of the year I was on a guitar swing and wrote what I considered some of my best songs yet (as usually happens whenever you write something new). Then I fell into a bit of creative confusion. I was overloaded from life in general, which tends to stunt my creativity, but still needed to find my outlet. Turns out that I needed to be reading, that for me imagining the worlds created from words on a page is as creative an activity as writing those worlds myself. I'm still in the reading swing (plowing my way through the Harry Potter books yet again and bringing my boyfriend with me). But a few weeks ago I could feel the next swing emerging: writing.
Here's my problem. In the summer of 2010 I started what I, at that point, considered my best idea yet. I developed the story, the characters, the arc for at least three books, and started writing. Then came November and it was time once again for NaNoWriMo (if you don't know about that just wait until this November comes and it rules my life once again). I wanted to write my next 50,000-word-in-a-month novel and I wanted it to be about the world I had just developed. But I had noticed how much better my writing was when I wasn't writing for NaNoWriMo, so instead of carrying on my story I decided to develop one of the legends of my new world into its own story.
Well I did that and I have my next finished book (I'm sending it out to be read/revised at the moment if anyone's interested, just comment and/or email me). But it took me much longer to accomplish than I thought. In my new creative swing I turned back to the original story from the summer of 2010, started trying to write it, and found that I just couldn't get into it. It was fun to re-read and think about, but the creative juices just weren't there.
So I've been stuck in a creative rut, not helped by the fact that my life has gotten just a bit crazier with the end of the semester and the end of my apartment's lease cycle (yay for three new roommates?) It took me a while to realize that what my creativity was trying to tell me wasn't to continue my old story, but to start a new one, and that's exactly what I did.
Suddenly, my creativity is in full swing. Theo Baez and her friends have been born, the first chapter has been written, the story arc has been discovered, and a new world has been created. My paintings continue to gather dust along with my guitar, and my old story is retreating into the depths of my hard drive, but in the face of the return of my creativity, that's okay. Soon my creativity will be swinging another way, but for now it's time to start my best idea yet.
The fixed notion of Community Art is elusive, and yet, community art has been around for centuries. Artists are intrinsically drawn to the world they live in, and for many that means not only viewing but participating in it. As I start my personal journey with Community Art, I intend to find out what exactly it means, how exactly it can be defined, so I can help spread this creative fervor and transform the general public into the creatively passionate.