The muse never was very trustworthy in my opinion. None of them. No wonder they are mythical (as if we can trust anything the ancients dreamed up, archetypes or not.) Some might argue they exist on another plane of energy, but for the most part they are not for hire.
In the past I paid homage to the Literary Muse, and she would strike inconsistently and then crack the whip until you stayed up all night to write and your fingers bled. Then she would be suspiciously absent for loooong periods of time. But no matter what, I wrote.
Nowadays if she shows up I give her a token eye roll and say I AM not for hire any longer, so there. Go find another victim.
However, sometimes I think I have to pay homage to my art muse who is more often than not totally absent, day or night.
I also have to pay a price for her to show up.
*I have to dance naked at midnight in my backyard first Sunday of the month and sing off-tune songs until my neighbor calls the police.
* I have to offer up my first child as a sacrifice. It’s lucky I don’t have any kids, but then again, my muse gives me the cold shoulder because of this.
*I have to eat raw kale for breakfast every morning (not a problem since I often put that in my green smoothie, na-na-na-nana.
*I have to spend $$$$$$$ on all the latest art tools and pay homage to all of the art teachers out there who offer torturous lengthy courses that make you feel like crap if you don’t finish all the assignments. And you never do.
*The muse always reminds me that I’m never “deep” enough in my art. In fact, I skim the surface of drek and I’m too happy about it. 🙂
So, what do you do when the muse is absent? Tell her to never show up because you don’t need her sorry ass.
You go in to your studio every day even if your body sends out the “fight or flight” signal.
You wrangle that art journal that can never lie quite flat and slam your fist into the page just to show who is the boss.
The unseen barrier of resistance that the evil studio fairies wove while you slept last night is thick over the empty pages. Is that a spiderweb over there in the corner? And who glued the pages together?
Ah yes, I did.
You look over the paints and with a sigh you decide, “what the heck, I might as well slap on some purple and green paint down and go from there.”
Every brush stroke is a pain. The paint decides to spurt out in a great big glob or even leak from the bottom. So you smear that sh*t all over the page. Now that page looks like a Rothko painting… Maybe you could sell it as such on eBay, you think for $$$$. Con-woman thoughts aside, why did Rothko always paint the same thing??
His muse must have been nuts or she avoided him altogether with the excuse that she doesn’t do horizontal lines.
Anyway, you sit with your Rothko art journal page and decide it’s not interesting enough so you start doodling in pink neon color or slap some brightly colored washi tape down. Much better already. Things are still similar to slogging through mud, but you persist.
And then suddenly you see a face in the mess on the paper, and find joy in adding some features.
After that some more doodling commences and all is well. In the end, you created a piece of art and all is good. All in the face of the muse who tried to actually distract you with everything else except art. (Yes, I totally blame the muse.)
Art without the muse becomes an exploration to see what you’re made of. Either you give in to the resistance and go clean the kitchen, or you slog through the barrier and find what is on the other side.
It’s the only way to approach art and get something done. (For me anyway.) Otherwise, I suspect the kitchen would be spotless and the studio full of dust.
Do you have balls enough to push through?
Only by doing will you find out. Make it a habit and give the muse the boot if she dares to show up (late.) You don’t need her because you already had the commitment down.
You don’t need the muse because you have your own voice and inner wisdom. That is enough!
Lots of daring and determination to ya!
P.S. if you want to spend some hard earned cash on art, please visit my etsy shop HERE.