Image source: Art21

Sometimes the stepping away from our work comes from something we did not choose voluntarily. Illness, injury or dealing with life changes might appear to be obstacles on our professional journeys, causing interruptions and delays, but those gaps in continuity are never futile.

Not dissimilar to how a chef works, artist Julie Mehretu produces paintings that are both large in scale and extremely elaborate in detail. In Mason Curry’s book Daily Rituals: Women at Work, I came across her wisdom on enforced breaks or interruptions in our work:

“When I had my first child, and I would be in the studio but I wouldn’t be working, and I would just be staring – I felt really guilty about it,” Mehretu said. “But then I realised it’s such an important part of the process, and so much comes from that process of just connecting with the work in a way where you intuitively know it…It’s not a rational knowledge of the work.”

Sustaining creativity – 3

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