I go in cycles, obsessing over some desired art skill or medium or even wanting a behind the scenes view of how a particular artist has done what they have done. So I read voraciously and I research and I collect data. I ask questions and many times answer those with even more questions. I chase the white rabbit into fascinating places of depth and discovery, and I do it until the urge is satisfied. I get what I came for and then I pack it all up, send the books back to the library and move on with my living. I know when my work here has been done.
The point at which I redirect almost always comes with a clear sense of “Now I must see to making this my own.” It usually comes with a bit of “healthy disgust” with the topic I am perusing. It is rather humorous how much I begin to despise it. “Stop pushing your agenda down my throat,” I think to myself. “I’ve had enough of YOUR way.”
Even though it is I that have sought out the knowledge, there is a spoiling point where the taste becomes rank to my tongue. Curdled and sour, I push it away with my hands and say, “I’d just soon rather not.”
I am always so pleased when this time comes. To have let the curiosity run its course and to find I am left alone again with me and my thoughts and creativity and whatever actions I wish to take. It is relieving and freeing. I feel equipped with tools, and giddy to use them my way, as if I’m getting away with something.
Following in this manner I have been known to physically purge things from my life as well. Books from my bookshelves are no longer needed. Art supplies are released. Even clothes, ephemera and general clutter are cleared away. When I have new knowledge, I become new. A change occurs and with that change a skin is shed.
I am not scared of losing some piece of information I’ll need later. I feel as though giving myself over so intensely to the curious obsessions when they come allows me to thoroughly absorb whatever it is I need into my being. And to give the information away again (or to cut myself off from it) with such a flippant air keeps me from operating off of and referring back to some artistic formula proven tried and true by someone else.
I part ways with my obsessions, rich with my new found raw matter and a warm place in my heart for what has transpired. Good has been done here, and now I get to incorporate and practice my new powers as I see and invent my own life. The point is to go forth and make, not to sit on the wisdom collected from others, waiting for something to hatch.