The thing is about beginning something new, and sometimes even just carrying on something you have already set up for yourself, is that you have to feel like an artist. And it’s not always easy to capture that.
So whatever you need to do, to recover yourself and feel like an artist again, is the only job you have really. That’s how you begin.
I live up there. Today I’m riding my bike but usually I would be walking. I didn’t leave yesterday. Today I’m forcing myself. The pacing – 1 -2, 1 -2, 1 -2 – I think it lets my thoughts come through me and sort of process.
So my instruction is to go somewhere that isn’t in your neighbourhood. Go to an area that you don’t really know.
You are trying to find a place where you can people watch. I really recommend a caff. Not those cafes where people sit with laptops though, that’s really important. The place you get a fry up, an omlette, a caff.
It’s really important that you don’t bring your phone, and you don’t bring your computer. You can bring a notebook if you want but I wouldn’t really recommend it.
And on the way to the caff, the main point of that journey is that you find out what’s on your mind. Once you’ve got past the daily concerns and maybe the argument you had yesterday with your partner or the birthday you forgot, you get to some preoccupations that you have, some things you may keep thinking about, find interesting or find urgent in some way.
On the journey you’ve allowed those to emerge, and now in the caff let them recede a bit, and just tune in to people’s conversations. Whoever’s there just listen to what they’re talking about: definitely don’t write notes, just listen.
What would it be like if right here, now in this caff, your art were to start. What would you make for them, your art work, if it was going to happen right now, right here in this caff, for these people. Or pick one of these people: the one you find most interesting. What would you make if you were making a piece of your art for them to encounter on their way home.
Definitely don’t write notes, just listen.