A Change of Plans and Lessons About the Creative Process / by Krista Dedrick Lai

Growth and Decay, 22" x 30" mixed media on paper, by Krista Dedrick Lai

A few months ago I heard from a friend in the performing arts that she had a space she would like to display some of my artwork in during a performance in May.  I am always excited about a new opportunity to get exposure but was a little worried about creating 4 new pieces that would work well together and work for her performance in the limited time I had.

Growth and Decay (detail) by Krista Dedrick Lai

At the time I was finishing up some other projects and couldn't begin this one right away. Still, I felt like there was enough time before the performance to take this project on so I created a work-schedule, put some personal projects on the back-burner and got down to work as soon as I could! 

Growth and Decay (detail) by Krista Dedrick Lai

The first two pieces were a little trickier than I had anticipated and I found myself switching gears often. The aspects of the work I had expected to have easy success with fought back and didn't work. Some parts of the process I had expected to be dull or tiresome were enjoyable and even thrilling (the pencil work was SO FUN you guys!) I was reminded that with art you are often just along for the ride and, sometimes, giving up control is one of the best things you can do.

"Against the Dying" 16" x 22" mixed media on paper, by Krista Dedrick Lai

Halfway through the 2nd piece I reached out to my friend to make sure we were still on track and nail down details. I learned that, due to unexpected events, the performance had been cancelled. I was disappointed, sure. I wondered if my time would have been better spent continuing the series I had been working on previously. But I was also aware that sometimes this is just how things go and feeling thankful for the lessons in patience, flexibility and experimentation that these pieces were teaching me. 

"Against the Dying" (detail) by Krista Dedrick Lai

I'm not sure if I'll finish this series or not. I think there is potential but I've had some other projects up my sleeve for a bit and only a few weeks left to really devote time to them before baby comes. In any case, I am grateful for the lessons learned.