Fugue State in the Studio

It’s not always the case, but sometimes I find that I can lose track of time and self rather thoroughly when I’m deeply engrossed in making art. Writing even a simple email can take ages, if it’s about something or to someone I consider important; an essay or poem can take hours or days, if I get involved and forget where I am. It’s a bit like driving a familiar route; when I’ve been on the same track enough times, I am occasionally startled to realize that I don’t remember passing through the last number of miles, because my brain is so used to noting what is or isn’t as it’s expected and supposed to be that it operates nearly on autopilot, though thankfully if I examine my memory I can indeed recollect noticing real details along that ostensibly missing section of the trip. With making visual images, I can (and sometimes, I think, absolutely should) let go of and turn off my editorial mind for a good period of the work time. If I’ve practiced enough and prepared enough, inwardly, for a session of art-making, letting my attention take a back seat to my instincts and actions before returning to critical mode is at the very least going to produce some worthwhile, thought-provoking, challenging Stuff that will either lead directly to an artwork or, as a bit of not so fabulous yet earnestly glimmering potential, lead to something on the next try.

No matter how that part of the process goes, I’m quite sure that an easy 90% of what I do to make art, whether it’s textual or visual, happens internally and not externally, so it’s no wonder if I wander off at times.Digital illustrations from photos + text: Work Patterns