I want to talk process.
There's this post I keep running back to....
A post about good design.
And bad design.
A post about sincerity in your work.
And about application of this sincerity.
and about insincerity.
construction and destruction of a simple truth.
That your work is simply that. YOUR OWN.
Please meet this woman. and read this post. Whoah.
I started reading this woman's blog about a year ago, when I was still in classes at the school, filling my brain with technique and tech-skills necessary to MAKE: the skills to even CREATE good art. I looked at styles, strengths of other metalsmiths, what they do and why....but you can't make good design if you don't have the skills to do simple things well. You can't jump from beginner, barely soldering, stumbling through setting a stone correctly.....
to great designer.
(Part of my beef and constant struggle with Liberal Arts education in the world of metal is exactly that....HOW on god's green earth can you teach design without a proper skillset? HOW are you to make good work if you can't even do simple stuff right??!! and sometimes I still struggle with the simple stuff.)
anyway. I digress. maybe another post.
At school, in class, I gobbled down visual stimulation from every angle... like a hungry child waiting for that next spoonful. I worked hard to learn what it's going to take to make a go at the metals world, at the jewelry world. I dove into Etsy with gusto, into this blog.
I watched. And I still do.
I want to be a rosy. I am not afraid to say that. Nothing bad about wanting that kind of success for your own work.
your own work.
And every time I look at her work...I am looking at it through novice eyes....trying to figure out "how did she DOOOO that?!!"
And I can't get enough.
She is strong.
I mean a.r.t.i.c.u.l.a.t.e.
and her work is an inspiration.
and I love what she says about inspiration:
"Flowers do not grow from Flowers"
basically, where are your roots?
is your idea rooted?
I can't stop thinking about what she has said in this particular post.
Mostly, it has haunted me.
I can't stop thinking that....
shit, am I guilty of some of these faults as a designer?
Am I willy-nilly throwing things together?
Do I think through my pieces?
are my pieces rooted?
and worst of all.......
Do I COPY?
I do know this.
I don't draw out what I do.
Not a lot of planning....(which I know should change)
Maybe a shape in my head, or a word. or a color.
Sometimes I just go with it.
Pick out a stone and go.
I work hard.
Some days I forget where I am, and whether or not I've eaten lunch.
I am involved and focused.
I finish things I like. and things I don't like.
I scrap a lot of projects simply because they aren't "IT".
And I re-work a lot of stuff even halfway through a project.
Does it need another layer, another texture, maybe less of those things?
chop it off, chop it up, add more, keep going, re-work.
And I wonder, is that bad?
Did I finish with the intended idea?
Is some essence of the beginning of the piece still there?
is that PROCESS?
I really don't know yet.
But then I start thinking about me.
About my process lately.
this very new process.
I get up in the morning.
I find some clean clothes. Dress for the weather.
Chop wood if needed. Build a fire (we heat our house with a badass wood stove).
Turn on pickle pot.
And sit for a black cup of coffee, usually in muddy boots and carhartt pants.
and this time of year....long underwear.
my fingernails are painted red. bright red.
And this is now my job.
my only job.
"Go to your studio and make stuff"
That is me. Today.
That is my process. for now.
I am working on the rest.
I don't believe process is something you can force.
Even with french-press coffee.
rather you let it grow.
a little sunlight, fertilizer, and TIME.
I carried around this quote in an antique locket when I was in another school, on another path, in a different place....and sometimes I think it was the only thing that kept me afloat.
"Treading a way does not consist in mechanically applying a technique until liberation is achieved. There are no magic formulas or assembly-line techniques. Each person must come up with his or her OWN WAY - by giving up most dearly held convictions and habits, by making use of all resources, by doing the most extraordinary spiritual somersault."
And even saying so, I love this post Rosy has put together,
because it hits me right in the gut.
punched me in the stomach.
and my favorite part of this.....
I kind of like it.
Someday I will figure out what my flavor is....what my work is evolving into.
ever-evolving. changing. moving. re-changing. and changing again.
to quote this woman, even as I cut and paste her words, I have a tingling suspicion I am crossing the line.
Rosy (or rather JJ, who is the artist behind her creative second-self, Rosy Revolver) Says, and I believe every bit of it......
"You'll not be content to try on other's shoes.
Rather you'll stomp awkwardly around in your own,
unsure of your footing,
until one day the stiff basic steps you've been practicing become
a dance that is completely yours."
(God isn't that just the best! Hurraw!)
"Look, if you're making it because you love it,
because it speaks to you,
because you wake up in the morning and your heart and brain and soul sing
and you feel that, regardless of whether or not the world loves it or not,
it MUST be made,
you'll be alright.
I really believe you will be alright.
That you will know success at some point."
Thank you, JJ. for the punch. and the love.