Pearls from artists* # 55August 28, 2013
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Once a work is completed, I have to wait before undertaking another. The completed work does not release me quickly. It moves its chattels slowly. The wise thing then is a change of air and of room. The new material comes to me on my walks. Whatever happens I mustn’t notice it. If I interfere, it doesn’t come any more. One fine day the work demands my help. I give myself up to it in one fell swoop. My pauses are its own. If it falls asleep my pen skids. As soon as it wakes, it gives me a shake. It couldn’t care less if I am asleep. Get up, it says, so that I can dictate. And it is not easy to follow. Its vocabulary is not of words.
Jean Cocteau in The difficulty of Being
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