Creativity, Talent and Discipline

I stumbled across a short clip from contemporary Irish artist, Guggi, the other day while off chasing links through the interwebs. He’s talking specifically about painting, but broadly about creativity in general, and I found it very refreshing to hear someone speak so plainly about the process, rather than waffling on about muses and inspiration and Art-with-a-capital-A.  It’s easy to translate what he says about his creative medium (paint and canvas) into advice about mine (words and paper).  Here are his thoughts on writer’s creativity block, for instance:

There’s no doubt about the fact that painting is not all about the “great stroke” — the great stroke that brings it all together, that now makes sense of all of the work and all of the effort. It’s also about priming canvases, it’s about sweeping the floor, it’s about mixing paint, it’s about so many things. And you know what? People can call it luck, they can call it whatever they want, but the more time I spend in the studio, the luckier I get. I don’t entertain people that sit around for a year waiting to be inspired. That’s bullshit.

I think I need to remind myself of this the next time I spend three hours in front of the word processor and come up with exactly one good paragraph.  Because sometimes it really is just about mixing the damn paint.