Sylvia Plath once said that “The worse enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
I grew up reading Plath, which most people find to be slightly morbid and depressing. Despite the weird faces and odd smiles I get when I mention this fact about my reading habits, its true. Her writing has always spoke a true sense of honesty, humor, and yes even darkness to me, that fearful thing we all seem to be too awkward to confront.
Each year, I create a review wall for a few reasons.
1. If self-doubt is really the worse enemy we must confront as creative individuals, then metaphorically, is there is any better way to do it than to critique and review the work we’ve accomplished (or lack there of such) within one year’s time via a wall that is typically on average taller than ourselves?
2. As someone who has removed herself from a studio learning environment and into a freelance studio workroom, building a review wall also helps build honesty (and sometimes humor…or even darkness) between conceptual pieces of work. Sometimes, even simply concepts.
3. To change self-doubt, we must find a balance between conceptual collectiveness and artistic voice. This can’t be seen in sketchbooks that are stacked on the corner of the desk, or in finished pieces laid in the portfolio. Conceptual collectiveness begins when we can bring together all of our doodles and sketches from across a time period, to begin to visualize a direction for our artistic voice to project. Hence, the wall of review.
4. The definition of review is: ” a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary”. To create an environment of this formal assessment is important in moving forward, especially at timely matters such as new years, in order to progress as creative individuals.
5. I originally created a review wall – as I woke up every day to a blank wall and needed to wake up to something that provoked creative energy, inspiration and challenged me to be productive. The idea that we constantly surround ourselves with growing concepts, with developing work, with innovative ideas and with the work that drives us every day to be an Artist – is what developed the need to use a wall for this visual reminder. To wake up daily to what motivates us, but to also visualize this motivation over the course of time is valuable in itself. As Plath once again said, “I am. I am. I am.”
There are a few other reasons – for which I can’t quite articulate currently, but Im sure will find their way into a blog post at a later date. For me, 2014 in review: 150+ drawings, 17 mixed media pcs, 24 book inklings, 11 digital, & 32 other.
Remember – no matter if its the end of the year, or even the end of a week – Reflect, Rewind, Reorganize. Studio Work, never stops.