I think for a while now I have been taking for granted the importance of the actual process of making art and what it means to an individual artist. I recently did a collaboration with my friend and ceramics artist, Laura Cooke, and learned a ton about her creative methods and practices. It made me reflect more about the love and dedication one must have for the final result, but also the unique and often labor intensive process in and of itself.
My friend and fellow painter Karina Bania recently mentioned how she loves the physicality of painting -- the movements and gestures that make up the act of painting. Those words struck me because that is exactly how I feel as well. I love the quiet meditation involved in rendering a small image, but I am equally seduced by painting and its mark making, textures, viscosity, and constant problem solving.
I have further contemplated the variations of the art process after working with Laura, who typically fires ceramics in a standard kiln. She recently attended a 3-day wood kiln firing in Marshall, NC and explained to me that it had to be manned 24 hours a day and someone has to continue feeding wood into the kiln to maintain the proper temperature. At the end of this extremely laborious practice, one cannot even be certain with work that hasn't been cracked or flawed in some way. I was in awe of the dedication.
I guess as every artist goes further and further down a certain artistic path or calling, it is not really ever the final result that compels them to do so. It is in the end the love for the process that makes this decision for them. Passion and dedication to the process itself is what makes a true artist. One who cares more about the creation than the outcome.