In graduate school one of my painter teachers said this to me,
"You are a good designer. You know how to place things. BUT DON'T DESIGN DANCE."
I don't remember what I thought when he said this but I have thought about it a lot, for over 14 years. Yup, it is one of those things that keeps rising up to tap me on the shoulder. Many times I thought I understood what he was saying only to later on realize I almost understood. Today, as I was working on an illustration for a picture book I'm working on, I remembered it again. Don't design Dance. It's ok to have a plan as to what you want to create, but let the how come deep from within the act of letting your body do the making. Allow room for those beautiful surprises. Let the placing be like feet moving to your own rhythm. Let the image be a catcher for the making's dance.
Much easier said then done. Oh so much easier. There is a maker in me that sometimes has an idea, a grand idea, of how it should LOOK before it is made. This blocks all making magic. It also creates great frustration when the image never is able to meet those expectations.
Don't design Dance, doesn't mean, forget all about how it looks and will read, it means trust your lines, trust your hands, trust the making to place things as needed, as felt, as called to place and the image will definitely feel more alive and pulsing with freshness. Rest the thinking about how. In its place,
get the hands moving, drawing, writing, gluing, moving toward that image that keeps shifting and grooving and pulsing with you to some how come to be. The image is that remnant, that evidence, that illustration of what when on when you were dancing.