Exploring the Creative Process with Ana Clark

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

The process of working on a creative project ping-pongs the artist between inspiration and blocks, pleasure and pain. I wanted to share my process working on this project as it's one of creative booms, internal pressure and utter confusion that other creatives can relate to.

I began the academic year, being a third year textiles student at AUB, inspired by my relationship with the sea. I embarked on a 10 week project where through my personal interaction with the environment I was able to create work on a regular basis. The regularity at which I was able to be productive gave me immense confidence and pride. Everything I had been working towards had come together seamlessly.

It started to get complicated when I began to develop my current project. The Final Major Project. The last project for my course. 20 weeks to initiate, develop and create a stellar collection of textiles to be exhibited in Bournemouth and London. The big one, I knew that I wanted to base my work on the time I spent in the desert with my mother, so I got to it: researching, concept development, colour exploration... But ever so subtly those sneaky demons needled their way in. I began feeling pressured to live up to my last project - not an external pressure! but one created by my own self-doubt. The sense of achievement I felt from the hype about my previous work started to loom on me - it made me look at my current project and question, 'Is this good enough?'

WHAT A HORRIBLE, LIMITING AND SELF-DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHT! To the objective eye, of course I was good enough! I had already created my previous piece, which I was proud of, so using that experience of course I'd be able to create something better, right? Where was this thought at that time? I couldn't see past the doubt and this blocked me - weeks spent in front of a blank piece of paper, not knowing what to do. Creating without a purpose and feeling utterly confused.

Then I heard the simplest thing: 'Just do what you enjoy and don't worry about the consequences'. In the context of art, it's absolutely true. We challenge ourselves because we love what we do and want to do better - as soon as we loose track of that love, there's little point to it. So when I reconnected with my love of textiles, I shed the strings holding me back and let go. I was finally able to explore the full potential of this project. I'm still riding the waves of this project and I'm sure there will be many more bumps along the way; but if I remember just to let go and ENJOY the process, I'm sure I will make it through with a collection I am very proud of. This is just a little ramble about my experience but hopefully if you too are going through an iffy creative situation, reconnecting with what you love about that project will hopefully make it fantastic.

Here are some of the current outcomes of this collection. All about the intimacy in space and distance. For more development and updates check out @anaclarkprints on Instagram