We all have a backbone...some ache more than others...you young folks out there will understand this more later on. Anyway, this backbone is our spine, that set of bones that runs from head to tail, that connects to most of our ribs, that protests our nerves. It is a central part of our anatomy, and anytime there is something wrong there, we feel it immensely, and we can even get immobilized by the pain. For us, as artists, we are going to see the "spine" as defined by the other terms used for it, those being "willpower" and "courage." We say of someone, "they had the spine for that task" or "you need a strong spine to accomplish that task."
As artists, we need willpower and courage to continue on in the face of elements in the world that would slow us down or stop us altogether. We need the courage to take chances with our art, to make it, maybe even show it to other people, and yes, my goodness, even put it out there for sale!! We need willpower to sit at the art table, (Sometimes, I need the willpower to actually find my art table) and let our muses speak to us. Sometimes the voices are very low, or hesitant...Our willpower enables us to sit still and listen...to wait for the inspiration, to practice the new techniques. Maybe when we have learned something, or seen it in a video, and go to try it out, it doesn't come out as we had planned. We need to be able to persist, tweak, adjust, and repeat, and be open to lots of different outcomes.
To really learn about a project, I am discovering that I need to make more than just one sample. I need to try different colors, textures, sizes, materials...just to see what direction I really want to go in. Sometimes, I am not necessarily being creative as much as I am being scientific, experimenting... what happens if I try this?...or that? I need my courage and willpower intact to get to where I want to go. When my "spine" is out of kilter, i.e. my courage is weak or my willpower is taking a nap, things don't progress, I slow down, and I am a bit off of my path. Exercising the back muscles keeps the spine fit. Exercising our courage and willpower muscles keeps our artistic spine strong. OK, everybody, get out there and do 50 sit-ups, artistically speaking, of course!