I have been working on one image for a month! That is a twelfth of my whole year. Every day I sit stymied at my table and stare at the illustration, wrestling with it in my mind. Never before have I struggled so much to “see” the picture. Adding a detail or a color without first “seeing” it almost always produces pangs of regret. Instead I sit, I stare and I will the inspiration to come.
I was pondering the ridiculousness of my situation and wondering why I even sit there, seemingly wasting my hours, days, a whole month, why the quiet torture? When during my morning perusal of Facebook I read this pertinent quote. The famous composer Tchaikovsky wrote, “We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic.”
I looked up the word indolent because as my second language, English likes to point out my barbaric non-comprehension. Second guessing my understanding of words is just an immediate reflex for me. Indolent means being lethargic, languid and perhaps lazy. When I sit in my swivel chair, making little swivel movements while my eyes are glued unseeingly to my table top, it certainly feels like lethargy and laziness. But according to Tchaikovsky it is not, it is just me endeavoring to meet inspiration half way. So now, when inspiration eludes me and reason starts to justify giving up, I will stare down reason and say, “here’s to meeting inspiration half way!”