6/28/08

flinging yourself to the next level

I can't know what other artists go through, but I have to wonder if they don't experience similar phases when it comes to growth and stuckness. Sometimes it feels like I could do anything and succeed, and then there are periods of complete feelings of failure. I understand there is this stretching of self, you push yourself and do something that is just a little beyond what you normally do and then realize you've gone outside of your line and wonder what you are doing 'out there'.

I'm feeling it now. The last dozen clocks I have made have crossed some sort of line and now I'm floundering. The commission job is also making me uneasy. I have the ideas just don't have the skills or tools or knowledge. I can't learn it all and I can't do it all. So what do I do? What if I have ideas that supersede my abilities? Once you realize you've pushed yourself further in some way it makes it painful to go back to doing things the way you were if that makes sense.

The challenge is to not freak out. It is staggering if I sit down and let my mind go to all the things I think I want to do and realize I have caveman tools and a matching brain. I'm not in a position to hire someone to do things for me, here and there yes but for anything big or extensive I'm pretty much in fantasy land. I guess this is where patience, acceptance and fortitude come into play. I have to observe with animal awareness what is going on, what I want, where I want to go and hope I catch a scent. I suppose if I could have any wish come true it would be that a person would appear that had fantastic assemblage skills and was happy just working for someone (me) else. I could design works and discuss it with this person and together we could make it. I kind of don't want to learn EVERYTHING ya know? I don't want to learn how every tool works and weld/cut/measure/fabricate everything.

I have to figure it out I guess. Put on my superhuman outfit and see if I can fling myself to the next level. It scares me and makes me terribly uncomfortable but growth rarely happens when you stay all safe and comfy. It's my choice, like it or not.

Thanks flowkradd for allowing me to use your image!

11 comments:

Sheree Rensel said...

Oh geesh Paula. Just wait. The ebb and flow of feeling strong and then, weak, goes on for your entire art life. At least it has for me.
What do you do if your skills don't match your ideas and aspirations? You learn NEW skills. This takes time. If you take baby steps and have patience, it all comes together. Soon you learn what you need to know, but then there are more things waiting for you to learn. It never ends! This is what life is all about, right?
Sheree

Sheree Rensel said...

P.S.
Paula, here is a great video by atree3 which speaks about learning life lessons. If you have time/interest, you should watch it. Margaret (atree3) is a very wise woman. When she speaks, I listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP4lZ9Owrlo

self taught artist said...

thanks sheree, that link dead ended...I'll try to find her on my own but not sure which video it would be.

gigi said...

don't you think that the more you make the easier and more refined you techniques and skills will be?

just keep going (i know you will).

self taught artist said...

gigi, one would think so but this is a matter of design. that is always different...it's not like using the same materials over and over ya know?
i'm learning there is a difference between art and design. creativity and design.

StellaD said...

Know exactly what you mean, having such great ideas and not being able to implement them for a variety of reasons. Lack of knowledge is often my biggest road block. I think most artistic people go through spurts of growth and periods of feeling stuck and unsure of themselves. I know I do. That frenzy of mental creativity I just experienced is beginning to bottom out...but I know it will cycle 'round again. Good luck with your commission...you're going to do great, you know.

self taught artist said...

thx stella...even if I dont make it (the clock) its still great to have been asked. i'll be looking for that table of yours...

Sheree Rensel said...

Paula,
Weird!! The link works just fine for me. I just copied it off here and tried it. I bet it might be I can get it because I have a YouTube account. However, I signed out of YouTube and tried it again. It went right to the video. Try it again.
It should work. If not, you can do a YouTube search with the words "atree3". Then watch her video titled "LIFE LESSONS".
It would be worth the trouble. It is a great message and you will relate!!

self taught artist said...

hey it worked this time
watched about 4 videos
she is a GEM
thanks for the recommd!

Kim Hambric said...

Paula, you said, "What if I have ideas that supersede my abilities?"

If you don't have those ideas, aren't you pretty much close to dead.

I guess the best scenario is to have ideas that supersede your abilities. Then maybe you do some work and your abilities get closer to those ideas. Then you get some new ideas that supersede your new, improved abilities. Then you do some work and your abilities get closer to those ideas . . .

self taught artist said...

kim,i guess i know i am never going to want to do my own laser cutting, bandsaw cutting, i'm a horrible measurer...there are things i want to make that I am not equipped to do and for now its staggering.