I've been reading through my notebook from August/September 2014, the month I started graduate school at California Institute of Integral Studies. I'm finding some interesting and useful stuff, as you might imagine.
As I'm digging deeper into a new big project, and taking this two week period away from teaching to step back and see into how I want to organize my next few months/year/life as a writer, playwright, theater maker and teaching artist, I found a few lists that I will especially want to keep close at heart.
These first two came out of a meeting with my first Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts Workshop professor, Cindy Shearer, who became my MFA Project advisor. I know it will be useful to approach my current project with this inquiry and process:
What is the thing existing underneath?
How is it theatrical?
How can I pull from what I learn from peers who don't do what I do?
How can I learn from artists who bring an entirely different vocabulary and artistry?
Who am I creating this for? What is my audience?
What is the bigger picture?
What is the specific microcosm?
Why does it matter to me?
How can it matter to the world?
What is it?
Listen with big ears to my surroundings/gut/peers/mentors/students
Discover what relates, what doesn't, learn from both
FIgure out how to better balance everything I'm doing
This one came from one workshop class with Cindy. After our cohort visited the DeYoung Museum during a Saturday morning session, we met back at a CIIS classroom in the afternoon to discuss the artistic tenets we found in the artists we observed there (the main exhibit that day being a large collection of Modernists' work). Out of that conversation, we collected a group of artistic beliefs we might share among our small group of five students. As individuals, we pulled out the principles that struck home for each of us on that group list, and added some more to them if we felt called to do so.
I feel I can still make art by these tenets:
Make Art to Live Better
Learn and Discover -- Artist as Scientist
Look Back to Look Forward
Do what's hard to do/say/make, Write What Hurts
Find the Question in Every Play
Attack from Different Angles
Listening is Key
Redescribe Our Inherited Assumption in order to Incite a New Paradigm
Learn Your Tendencies/Habits
Find What Matters Through Connection
Let It/You/Art Evolve
Test Yourself. Use Obsessions. Use Fear.
Put Limits and Boundaries on Yourself to Live Through Them
What inquiry are you entering into with your current project? Would a list of questions help you better understand what you're trying to do? What process do you need to investigate right now? Would it help to give yourself a process to articulate how you'll make this new thing? What are your artistic tenets? How might defining your creative principles or beliefs help you in your process, and in your current project?
I'm asking because I'm interested. Respond if you're inclined!
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: