(draft 1) Extracts from my Artist Residency in Motherhood Plan cont.
2. Describe as specifically as possible, anything about your current situation that makes your creative life difficult. Write initial thoughts in the box below then edit to make a prioritised list.
My current situation demands looking differently at how to make time for creating work; how to travel; how to initiate or be part of creative collaborations (at home or abroad); how to maintain a connection with the artistic communities in Cardiff; how to sustain and develop a freelance visual practice, both financially as well as for personal growth. With such a significant proportion of my previous artistic practice being built upon collaboration, discovering what kind of personally conceived and directed work I might make is exciting, unnerving and, as yet, unknown.
I ask myself what will a more personal work look like? Does it use the same influences, tools and techniques that have enabled me to document and visually-interpret work made for different collective and shared goals. It certainly demands a different type of commitment, accountability, inner strength or independent leadership – to lead my own expression. In the past, I was responsible for myself financially, practically, lazily. I certainly don’t think I was a leader, loud instigator or gentle guide. My time was my own. Time has now become a lot more vital, both in its necessity to get things done and, paradoxically, slow things down. Managing my time requires a lot more considered thought, a maintained balance between organised routines and being present to experience them, and to enjoy my daughter and being a Mother.
If I was ever sure of what kind of artist I was, after my first year in motherhood, I feel even less so – or at least, I feel differently. Fear makes creative life difficult! My studio being unfit for purpose makes creative life difficult! Disturbed sleep makes creative life difficult!
Portrait of Aleksandra Jones when pregnant, Women in Pregnancy, 2012