The Art of the Creative Process

Sometimes what a lost artist needs is to practice the art of the creative process

Author’s Note:

Supporting photos for this piece are on my website

There was a part of my life where I was so depressed that I felt like it would be better if I didn’t express myself at all. I became sort of plain. It took a few years to get back into painting, and when I did, I didn’t have the same spark. It didn’t look good. It didn’t feel right. I just completely lost my style. 

I had to keep starting the same painting over and over again. I was working with a canvas that was about four feet tall and two feet wide, but none of my vertical compositions were good. That was until I turned it horizontally. I looked at the new angle, drew some sketches, and felt like I should paint an abstract lady. That’s what I did. The strokes came naturally and so I had a newly transformed work in progress. 

As I finally got that painting started, I made continual progress on other canvases. The theme I was feeling at the time was Wavy Days. I started a few wave compositions, but I sketched them within their own borders as if they were windows or portals. That artistic decision became part of the new style I was figuring out as I kept thinking in waves. 

The waves in my paintings led me to explore my own ups and downs in the creative process. Soon I was writing poetry and painting on ceramics the beginnings of a Zen Island, a concept of drifting somewhere in the sky or sea. 

I painted this Zen Island as a cloud with waterfalls and wonders in place of an island. Before I could really meditate on what that meant, my attention span led me to the next thing to make. I traced the waterfall upwards and created a few pieces where the water flows from the skies. That’s how I arrived at my next concept: The Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet.

I was going to build my portfolio in hopes of pursuing art, but I was surprised to get into graduate school for writing. Now my new goal is to write a science fiction novel called The Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet that will bring some heart and nerve to the concept illustrated in my art. That’s how my art has transformed in the last year. It surprised me too. 

I am currently keeping a blog as I work on this new goal. The purpose of my online portfolio is to capture this inner tide of my creative process by curating pieces of my recent art and written work in a monthly journal. As I began to craft my novel, my blog suddenly turned into this variety show and I unknowingly wrote myself into an alternate reality that is my actual life. Now my life as an artist is a side plot to the story I hope to write, but this is all part of the creative process. 

I am practicing the art of expressing my genuine self, which requires courage and grace to do. I am very grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself to write at the graduate level, and I hope that my sincere effort will pay off. My story is in the process of being written and I don’t know how this ends yet either, but that’s the art of the creative process.

Sabaitide’s first art show The Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet is now on display in Santa Barbara, CA, and is available to view on her website

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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