The process of art can be a therapeutic and rewarding experience. I often share my own personal experiences of using art to work through difficulties in this very blog. There is another side of art making that is sometimes not discussed; the side that is full of creative blocks, frustration and questioning oneself.
Sometimes I just want to get to the making. I wish I could standardize things to take the difficult decisions out of the process. Figure out the most successful way to get my point across, the basic common steps of the process, and the easiest way to frame each piece. Then I can get to the fun/easy part. But each piece is different, a different application is needed, and thus a decision needs to be made.
Awhile back I had an artist friend who was dealing with some difficult life circumstances. Knowing how art has helped me, I asked if she was doing any painting. She said that her art had become automized. She worked on it assembly line style to create a work of art that was cohesive and quicker for production. At that moment I felt so sad for her. Something that could help to give her joy and be used as a way out of the darkness had been lost.
Sure, I would love to get better at my work but not at the expense as to where it becomes too easy. The struggle is where the magic happens. Not only do the hard choices add interest and emotional power to your pieces but they also keep the fire inside alive. I know it is cliché to say it but I truly don't know where I would be if I did not have my art. Trying to make the hard choices easy is when the light in your fire starts to go out.