How do you loosen up and play? It’s a tough one when you’re starting out, Faye says we should enjoy this (study) time, it’s a time to make mistakes and to really explore but (could this be partly due to all the social media sharing) I find it’s more a time of proving that you can be professional, a time for displaying your work and visual style.
I started this journey to push myself to see how far (and talented) I can go, can I make beautiful work with memorable meaning. Am I putting myself under too much pressure and is this stopping me from exploring and being experimental and free enough?
All of this is making me quite grumpy and quite angry in my day to day life as I sit trying to fathom out what I should be doing so apologies to my nearest and dearest.
Julia Cameron talks about anger in her book The Artist’s Way, she says to expect it at the ‘midsection’. In her case when you are working through her course in discovering and recovering your creative self. It comes after the elation of getting started and should be listened to. I’m feeling a little bit like this now; I felt I was doing okay, I was finding my voice and I could cruise for a while. But let’s get real here, that is not going to be the case and it shouldn’t be.
I am going to listen to Julia’s words from page 61/62 in the chapter Week 3: Recovering a sense of power.
Anger is fuel
Anger is meant to be respected.
Why? Because anger is a map.
Anger shows us what our boundaries are.
Anger shows us where we want to go.
Anger points the way, not just the finger.
Anger is meant to be acted upon, not acted out.
When we feel anger, we are often very angry that we feel anger. Damn anger!! It tells us we can’t get away with our old life anymore.
Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life. Anger is the fuel that propels us into our new one. Anger is a tool not a master.
Sloth, apathy and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend but a very, very loyal friend.
I am angry because this part of MMT is challenging me, it’s taking me back to the ‘new learner’ stage. I keep feeling nostalgic about ATV, have I lost myself? Was ATV my peak, did it suit me too much, am I just a one trick pony?
It’s not coming easy but I am trying to use different materials and to repeat ideas, it all feels clumsy and forced right now but isn’t that how we feel whenever we start learning something new. I’ve got to climb up over that step when I feel myself pulling back and not persuing an idea, get over the hurdle of ‘less is more’
There are going to be lots of photos and only a few notes, that’ll be the online result of taking this more persistent approach.
I started very simple with some tape and stitching. The bar idea was looked nice and I could see that working well for attaching embellishments but it didn’t make a very solid join. This all felt very tight and restrained.
I had a little go at working up the bar idea and decided to leave it there for now, it’s pretty but it’s very much my style and I need to try something different.
In the materials that I collected prior to starting this exercise were some little metal wire hooks experimented with to join some different materials.
I liked the tactile quality of these samples, the process of putting the 2 pieces together side by side, adding the metal through the material and them turning the pieces flat was very satisfying. The samples look more scrappy and I quite like that, it works well with the random twists and turns of the metal.
I thought the twists looked best on the more patterned surface, it was the plain, single line of metal that worked better on the plastic. The metal contrasted well against the white, slightly crumpled base.
Spurred on by my use of household plastic I made a couple of samples with jay cloths.
I’m really not comfortable with using household items, it feels juvenile and a bit too trendy. I like beautiful fabric and paper, I have huge respect for artists like El-Anatsui but I don’t feel that it resonates with me. Is this one of those steps I’ve got to climb over?
The cloth was actually quite nice in the end and I wonder if one of my challenges should be to work with it like it is an exquisite piece of material?
At the end of this making session I wrote up some notes and ideas to take forward.