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Monday, January 20, 2014

Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter

It's just so elegant in French... it means, going backwards, to go forwards. I suspect I've used it in a title before, but it's worth restating.   I'm in the process of clearing out and reorganising my fabric rooms, upstairs in the attic.  I'd like to say it looks worse than it is, but I suspect it's the other way round.  I've shown you pictures of my chaotic workroom before, so I've put up some eye candy instead.  Much more fun to look at than mess, however creative it might have been at some point.  I've got a bag of scrap to go to a school, a bag of fabric for the Hub and I've surprised myself...more of that in a moment.

I've been giving myself a hard time recently, about my work.  How it's admired, but doesn't sell.  How, much as I'd love to work as a creativity coach, I haven't got out there to persuade people to try it, even though I know I'm good at it, and have a suitable background.  How I didn't write a book last year, despite planning it.  How the kits haven't sold...and how I haven't promoted them enough.  Me, me, me.  When you work on your own, it really is all down to you.  Above all, I worried that I've been so busy trying to make work that other people might like, so I could earn  some money (my husband is currently out of work, so there's no money coming in), that I'd lost sight of my own work.

Not a pretty picture, is it?  Whilst I might sound as if I'm being hard on myself (and heaven knows I'm good at it...), it's really the truth.  All, except the last bit.  What I've discovered is that there has been a lot of work going on around the edges in the last two years or so.  I know it, because I've found it, in piles, waiting to be developed, hidden under Yet More Fabric....I can't believe how much fabric there is, I swear it has been breeding up there during the summer...  And I haven't looked at the hand dyes, yet... argh...

So... I've decided to Get A Grip.  I'm going to finish clearing the studios, and see what else I find, and then make A Plan.  And, because I know that I have had this revelation before, and forgotten it, I'm going to write it down, but not in such detail that I drown in it (which is what happened last year).  Give myself room to make.  Stick with the daily haiku idea (twenty days, something like twenty four haiku), which is quickly turning into a journal of sorts, with some illustration.  Not quite an artist's journal, but interesting, nonetheless.
Scared?  Hell, yes.  Confident?  Not really.  But it does feel I'm just going to think less, and do more.  That's the catch line for the plan... think less, do more.  And yes, I've said it all before, in public, too.  Hopefully, this time, I'll be able to stick with the plan.  Wish me luck, I think I need it.

The image above is 'Where'.  I made it several years ago.  It's made from hand dyes; the word 'where' was discharge dyed on one piece.  Then, I painted over the top, using acrylic dyes, after extensive machine stitching.  I love texture, and this piece has it by the bucketload.


Julie said...

When I read your title I had visions of a pole vaulter rocking backwards and forwards and then bursting forwards. Yes, definitely more expressive in French. Well done with your new plan and I wish you every success, you deserve it with all your hard work.

Vicki Miller said...

It is interesting, As an artist, I feel many of the same things and I think it is part of being an artist. Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, but now is known by most people in the western world, and he felt many of these things as well as he put them down in his letters. So long as we are always learning about ourselves, the art will come.

Felicity said...

I know that feeling so well - people say they like my art but apparently not enough to buy it. It's hard not to let it hurt but I go back to the reason I make art - I have no choice. I have to make it and I love it and it keeps me (relatively) sane.

I love your stuff - I use your books, I have some of your atcs in my studio and I love my book cover. You make good art, lovely, you are a good artist xxx