Friday, September 19, 2014

back to school

I've been trying to maintain a back-to-school vibe in the studio for the last couple of weeks. I went roaring in on September 2, with the idea of throwing off the remnants of summer vacation mode and kicking some ass. I threw a bunch of stuff, and got down to the work of it. Then I had this horrible, dark realization: I want to make new work and grow as an artist, and here I am working on a cake stand... again.

I think this thought sent out some weird energy out into my studio, because for the rest of the week I managed to "accidentally" crack, break, chip and snap every single piece I had thrown. By the end of the week, with virtually nothing left that was salvageable, I just had to laugh at myself. When it comes to monkey wrenching, my subconscious knows exactly when and how to bring everything to a grinding halt. Talk about back to school.

I spent a couple of days walking in circles, and then just decided to face it: I've gotten lazy, I like my comfort zone, and everything I think I've learned about being a perfectionist nutcase doesn't mean that much unless I apply it to my work and duke it out with my demons.

I started again this week, with the idea of trying for a balance: some safety zone work so I can feel like I'm actually accomplishing something, and pushing on some new things so I can hold myself accountable to being an actual artist and not just a producer.

It's uncomfortable, like stepping into a slightly too-steamy hot tub. I know it's going to be good at some point, but right now it's just really freaking hot. As I was having these uncomfortable moments, I kept reminding myself that this is what learning is like sometimes: you feel like everything is a mistake, but if you keep trying you eventually get some finesse, or find your way to a better path.

All new work eventually becomes a safety zone.