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How to Begin?

Do you ever wonder how projects begin? Is it a slow process but consistent progress? Or perhaps the beginning and the rest of development happens in a flash as all the creative energy goes towards completing the project?

In my creative practice, which has spanned over two decades, I have experienced an eclectic mixture of beginnings influenced by various elements and events in my life and around me.

Beginnings are very individual and tailored to the project and the person who initiated the beginning. The past 20 years of running my creative practice have bestowed on me some wonderful beginnings and others that mirrored my disconnection from my creative self. Regardless of how I began a project, they reflected what was happening in my life and what kind of person I was at the time my creation began.

The beginnings of my projects are either inspired by thoughts or wonderings I have at that specific point in time, an image/s or a word/s I happen to read. I could easily miss those beginnings if I were not paying close attention. If I’m lucky enough to be fully aware, I could turn them into stories and new artworks.

Some beginnings require me to stand still, observe and listen. Other times, I need to act swiftly. However, no beginning would happen if I didn’t consistently show up. In my experience, showing up and doing the actual work is the most essential element of a creative process. For me, beginnings are full of unknowns and could proceed in many directions. But by relentlessly showing up and accommodating the project’s needs, I know the direction will eventually reveal itself. Of course, the direction might change during the development. If that happens before I make any profound changes, I ask myself how beneficial the new direction would be for the overall project. How would that impact my creative practice in that moment and in the long run? The change of direction might be driven by fear and self-doubts, and I have to rule that out before I make the final decision.

When I’m impatient to move the project forward, I don’t pay enough attention to the project’s needs and the direction it’s going. Being hasty often gets me in trouble and frequently is driven by my unrealistic expectations of myself and the project’s outcomes. When I catch myself doing just that, I need to take a break and look at all the creative puzzles I’m in the midst of from a distance, absorb the lessons, focus on the journey and listen to what the project is communicating to me, instead of speeding to the finish line.

I welcome beginnings, as without beginnings, nothing new comes into existence. Luckily, when I begin, I always want to satisfy my curiosity and find the ending.

When I began, I never knew how the project would end unless I was making a scripted film, but still, the editing can reshape the initial script, and when I make documentaries, I allow the footage to shape the final edit. With my multidisciplinary art projects, I don’t plan much in advance. I might have a vague idea of where I would like to go, but I don’t restrict myself in that respect. I often dream about my projects and quite regularly implement those dreams into my work.

I like that beginnings carry new hope, endless possibilities and amazingly fresh energy that feels like falling in love over and over again.

Of course, the beginnings could generate fear, especially if the project pushes my creative boundaries, which might be paralysing. In those instances, I try to figure out which habits could take me to the other side of the fear.

Sometimes, my beginnings require more planning and research, which I indulge by reading, watching, going to exhibitions or collecting items and memories. I like those types of beginnings as they feel the most in tune with my current artistic personality, which would rather take time and not rush.

Every beginning will be different, significant and profound in itself, offering a new start to a beautiful journey into the unknown.

I wish you and your creativity many happy beginnings 😊

I’m #MadeByDyslexia – expect big thinking & small typos.

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