One of the peculiar things about making art is the weirdly vast pool of raw stuff we turn into finished things. It isn’t tangible or visible, but all of the substance—that is, everything that isn’t the material components of the work like paper, canvas, pigment, wood, stone, fabric—exists in a big lake inside our heads ready to be, literally, tapped.

I mean, sometimes it feels more like a shallow pond than a lake, but I try to think of it more like our inability to always get the tide coming our way is a problem of weather—like fog or storms—obscuring our view and sense of the scale.

Like any other ocean or body of water, it changes, expands, gets choppy or calm, brackish, sweet, muddy, or, when we’re lucky, crystal clear.

Here’s the weird thing: none of us knows where it comes from. It’s all of our experience and knowledge and feelings. Somehow that becomes something new in the world just by our channeling the waters.