February 22, 2017

Stretch & Sketch, Deliberately

With my yearly intention to stretch beyond my comfort zone and my need to resume being a working artist percolating away at all times, these are the things I have been focused on or noticing as of late.

Beginning, following through, and finishing
I have great energy and excitement when planning new craft projects. I gather and/or purchase all the materials and tools I need to make said project. And then, usually, my engine stalls. With this knowledge, I am pushing myself to finish half-started projects and follow through on the not-yet-begun-but-have-all-the-stuff projects. This is somewhat easier to dedicate my time to now that I have given myself permission to craft. All the crafting is building my art making skill set and I'm getting some pretty cool, useful things from the bargain.
Daily practice, assignments, and accountability
I started the series of Sketchbook posts here with the idea that they would serve as an accountability tool; that through these posts I would hold myself accountable to a daily art practice. Only thing is, I had no articulated goal for regularity of posts nor subject matter to provide necessary focus. Well, now I've got it. All the research and note taking and brainstorming and word play I have been doing in my physical sketchbook have blossomed (exploded is more like it) into an assignment. I've never committed to a regimen like this before, have even scoffed at the idea previously if I am totally honest, but it feels like it is exactly right for right now. When the one material I had to order arrives, I will begin a series of weekly pieces for the duration of (at least) one year. Fifty-two weeks, 52 textile pieces exploring a single theme.

I am revved up to begin this project. My goals are simple but important.
  • In committing to a weekly practice I am committing to myself and to my art. 
  • In committing to textiles I will practice a set of skills I wish to acquire. 
  • In committing to a single media, albeit wide-ranging, I will engage my inventiveness.
  • In committing to a single theme I will deepen and broaden my understanding of the theme. 
I am fully aware that this practice is going to be challenging for me. I won't like everything I make, pieces will fail, my skills won't be up to snuff, I won't have enough time every week to do what I intend, I will run out of ideas, I will repeat myself. . . The regimen and deadlines will allow me to get past my pesky nay-saying ego. I will show up. I will do the work. I will share the work. I will learn. I will grow.

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