Fill the tanks

fill the tanks creatively - Sandra Harris

Last week's Friday Salon post included a link to an inspiring interview with Joss Whedon by Ari Karpel. It's ALL about getting shit done. Love IT. Have the main points up on my bulletin board above my desk.

One quote REALLY grabbed me - it's about filling the tanks - feeding your creative self in all sorts of different ways.

"Step outside your viewing zone, your reading zone. It’s all fodder but if you only take from one thing, then it’ll show"

It grabbed me because it's relates to my manifesto that I wrote last January. Here's an excerpt:

I believe that we are best inspired by many different art forms.

We can't just rely on the medium that we are working in for inspiration - it ends up being too limiting. Too much of a closed loop. 

If we are looking for photography inspiration, looking only at photographers results in a second-guessing loop where we wonder if any of our ideas are original. Or we doubt that we can create ANYTHING of value.

We need creative sources from all sorts of different genres and mediums to inspire. And it isn't just the highbrow - I like the lowbrow too. Whatever inspires, challenges AND entertains.

For me "filling the tanks" is even more than creative pursuits. It's about creative pursuits AND relationships - as a partner to the man and a parent to our daughter.

The model for the artistic life is that Jackson Pollock life where you commit all of your time to making art while Lee Krasner handles the administrivia for both of you.

A very gendered view of the artistic/creative life. SUCH a stereotype. SUCH an either/or kind of life.

A sad and lonely life too. I'll be honest, of course there are times when I dream of endless blocks of time to do the work. I remember those days! But when I'm 80 and looking back on my life, it'll be the quality of my relationships with the man and our daughter that'll give me JUST as much satisfaction if not more.

A creative life for me is not an either/or, it's an "and". Creative work AND being in relationship. 

So for me filling the tanks is not just about experiencing different art forms, it's also about spending time with the girl and the man. 

I fill the tanks with the arts AND with my family. 

This is the man's sabbatical year. No he's not in academia so it's not THAT kind of sabbatical but it IS an extra few weeks of vacation that he gets every 5 years. Sorry Americans, he's looking at 8 weeks this year. (The Europeans are thinking "what's so special about that?") He's the exemplar of staying on the f***ing bus - he's earned it.

And the girl is done grade 2 in a few days - she's off for the summer.

We're taking a family sabbatical. A summer of us.

I need to recharge my friends.

I wanna waterski and wakeboard and swim. Kayak and outrigger canoe. I wanna stay up too late, sleep in, make lots of yummy food. Play board games and card games. Yoga every day and hold a plank for four minutes.  Read books, watch movies, laugh a lot. Work on my food photography portfolio. Skip rope, play basketball and soccer. Run along the beach. Make a sidewalk chalk mural. Paint with watercolours and cut and paste. See friends. Daydream. Stare at the clouds. 

No deadlines.  No deadlines for any of us. But we will make lots of good memories.

A family sabbatical. 

I'll be around on facebook, twitter, instagram, flickr and pinterest. Not as much as usual but like Tammie I do need the interaction. I might even write a blog post or two, but it'll be just when I feel like it. And Christie will be stickhandling our foliophoto project.

I'll be back - this blogging thingy has been too life changing! What a community I've made through this blog. YOU inspire me, encourage me, and challenge me to up my game - to be be a better writer, a better storyteller, a better illustrator and a better photographer. And for that I am grateful.

I'll be back all inspired and energized. And I have some new collaborations in the works too that I'm super excited about.

But until then, it'll be the summer of us.

PS I'll be working through Tiffany Han's 30 day Social Media Rehab Workbook too - how about joining me?