Roughing in an image allows the artist to work out a plan before the first chisel hits the marble. In life, we sketch out our plan, work out the details, spend time on the research, and prepare ourselves for getting started. In those moments right before the first cut is made, before we take that first step toward commitment to our master piece, the plan flashes before our eyes. In those moments, do you freeze? Does the pit of your stomach form a knot so large you can feel it in your throat?
Those moments in my life always seemed to last an eternity. The voice of doubt erupts into a raucous of negativity. Living artistically means having such confidence in the outcome and in the freedom of creative process the threat of making a mistake had no merit. When faced with moments when we doubt our ability to go on, the artist sees opportunity for improvement, the chance to take a risk, knowing no matter what the outcome, he is committed.
Commitment to the process.
In the past few years, this concept has been much more evident in my life as a evaluate being a parent. There are times when the artist in me can see what could me, but the negative voices want to throw up their hands. I imagine it might have been what Michelangelo saw when he looked at the Sistine chapel for the first time, envisioning the potential, the masterpiece, but facing imperfections in the marble, a paint brush hair in newly poured paint. It would have been easy to throw in the towel on a bad day, in the heat of the summer; fortunately for us, he was more committed to completed the work he started. He saw the end first, allowing him to deal with the imperfect middle.
Dig in and Dig Down deep.
Wherever we are in our work: contemplating where to begin or summoning the strength to get through to the end or anywhere in the murky middle, in order to dig in and do the work to achieve our goals, we need to find the place of inspiration. There is a place within each us where the artist lives, where he breathes and works, from that place we find the will do hammer the chisel, dig deeper into your work, and move forward. Release him, allow him to come to the surface and provide the vision of where the work is taking you.
What inspires you? Where do you go to get strength to move forward? Where do you find inspiration and vision for your team, family, people who look to you for support?