Aries (March 21-April 19)
You know an extremely gifted person who inexplicably hides that gift from the world. Your ability to be open with your talent will give others permission to do the same.
It has felt like quite a long time since I have written about something related to my creative musings instead of Lucy updates. I am still feeling pretty low on my energy level. Honestly, I can only manage to attend to my child and garner enough motivation to pick up my living room before Henry gets home. It is just hard. I have time, but I don’t have any time to think. So the little, itty, bitty time that I have, I can’t think of what I should be doing or how to prioritize that time. Before I had Lucy, I spent at least four pages or twenty minutes writing in my journal a day. And that doesn’t include spending time at the page making lists or brainstorming projects. Or blogging, which is also a creative writing outlet for me. And then I would work on art projects on top of that. Before Lucy, I spent a lot of time working through the corners of my mind.
I do have a large project that I have been working on in my head, which is in the same vein as my tobacco rug. I want to make a bound swan wing. I have actually started cutting out Tyvek feathers without a real plan. But I feel like it gets me closer to my goal without really having to think of what I should be doing when I arrive at the studio other than handing Lucy pack after pack of stamps.
Last week Lucy and I attended her first graduate school class when I visited Ceci’s final presentation at the Corcoran. She included my tobacco rug piece as a prop. It was great to be back in an academic atmosphere. Lucy did great. If I am exhausted, I just take her out to a room full of people. She loved having the ladies oh and ah over her during break. I could tell she thought she was the coolest kid in the class by the way she looked at me. She did not get too fussy for hanging out for almost two and a half hours. By the time it was over, we were both exhausted. As much as I was tempted last fall to explore the possibility of participating in the new Book Arts program, this is not the time. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking for that brief lapse of delusion.
Several weeks ago, I met with Ceci and discussed her dilemma of what would be the thesis of her final paper. I was able to pull books from my bookshelf, talk about artists and even gave her one of my library books, but beyond that conversation, I couldn’t imagine writing a coherent academic paper. I realized that harsh reality midway through our meeting over coffee. There is no way I could do this. That’s what went through my head.
Upon leaving the class last week, I realized that what I need at this time is a good mentor/editor/collaborator with whom to share ideas and progress. Someone that I am accountable to other than Henry. He is always very encouraging and probably fits this bill more than anyone. But now more than ever, I probably need an outside resource instead. And it needs to be a give and take person, who is also working on some projects of their own. Ideally we would work both independently and collaboratively.
But I have come to this conclusion: All baby all the time is boring. Period. Including on this blog.
So what does this have to do with today’s horoscope? Well, hmmmm… I guess it gives me a little push of where to go with this blog. Maybe I just need to be honest, continue to share funny stories, and post updates on my creative ventures. Oh yes, and post pictures of Lucy for my family.
Since May I have often thought, I should have had a baby years ago, if I had any idea that she would help me get so focused so quickly. Although in the last few weeks, I have wondered just what do I want to focus on.
I began redoing my blog around a month ago, but lost momentum. I do things in waves. Unfortunately, that wave passed before I made the full transition to WordPress. I think that the wave crested when our sleep was disrupted once again. And the reality is I need a lot of sleep before I can reorganize my entire life into a few succinct categories of blog entries.
I think that I frequently lose momentum facing the reality that there are A LOT of super moms out there who have a thriving business thanks to Etsy and other crafty ventures. I am certainly crafty; I am a new mom; and I have been blogging since 2004. I realize that I am very close to this bill, but not exactly. The reality is a small business is a lot of work. A LOT OF WORK. And nobody wants to babysit your business for free. Henry sent me a NY Times article about Etsy. When I read about the woman knitting 13 hours a day, I thought, that’s why there are small children in foreign countries knitting sweaters. Kidding! Sort of…
I have already spent many years working on businesses late into the night. It was exhausting. And all of those little boxes of fortunehearts never cooed back at me nor spontaneously started clapping for the first time, as Lucy did Friday night. Plus I promised myself a couple of years ago that it was finally time to take my art seriously. It’s what I really wanted to do since I was four.
At this time, I can only take on one big project at a time. My goal is to fully live that project, like my current one, whatever that means. I have been in that I have been thinking about how this piece is related to my past, my present and my future. I have even considered my current exercise regimen as part of this piece. A transformation, if you will. But I also need some time to put pen to paper, or in my case, scissors to paper, or even Gocco-ink to Tyvek. I hope to set up a schedule while in Florida that will give me a little more structure. And time for working on these projects.
My attitude towards my shop is this: I’ll continue to add small pieces to my store as they pop up. But I don’t want to move back into pseudo mass production. I will make it for you or for me. Then maybe I will sell it or maybe I won’t.
One day I dreamed of having my own brand at Target. But now I dream of having a piece in something like The Slash exhibit at The Museum of Arts and Design. If I spend all of my time thinking about all of the little things that I can be making, then I have no room in my brain for the one big thing that I really want to make. And inexplicably, those big ideas are far more rewarding than all of the little products that I have made in the past. The same little products that inevitably someone else on Etsy is making and probably even looks better.
Besides Sue Anderson encouraged me to work big in my very first creativity class way back in 1995. (I searched for Sue and found her included on my first web site on the internet, which pre-dates Herny!)
I wanted to make my tobacco rug for two years before I finally did for a class project. And I probably made it for lack of a better idea since I had already faced the major brain drain of my first trimester. The final result was different than I expected, yet it was also way more informative than I ever imagined. This was an autobiographical piece that helped me understand who I was on multiple levels that weave themselves together in no linear fashion. My feelings and understanding are very well replicated in the piece itself. No one linear sentence is easily legible by the viewer. So I am very excited to see what this current piece will teach me other than being mindful about my posture and sitting up in my seat.
One phrase that keeps going through my mind is “the end of the aughts/the end of the oughts.” I made a small piece for the end of this first decade of the new millennium. Which leads me to ask, so what is this an end to? And what is this a beginning to? Certainly a streamlined approach to my to do list. And maybe my expectations, as well. But I think that this shift in a personal creative economy will be more fruitful, I hope.