Do you find that time away always provides inspiration energy? The trick for me is actually converting all those ideas into a few clear directions to focus on. I find myself bouncing mentally from idea to idea and it's easy to not really maximize the bounce in the studio, but squander it on household chores or small endeavors in too many directions. So I'm trying to choose a few areas to laser beam that energy into. I've reviewed all my journal notes and sketches and tried to summarize what I learned from my first venture to the Gathering.
My most important take home lessons:
1) Progress. Expect progress, not perfection. I tell this to my son all the time, and now I'm repeating it to myself. I can see the progress when I look backward, and I can visualize the progress when I look forward, but there are no shortcuts. I just need to do what I set for myself to get to where I want to go.
2) Focus. Use the energy. Try the new ideas. Combine the ideas into something new and personal.
3) Voice. I got such great feedback from so many people that it's easy to feel swayed by what captured the eyes of those viewers. But I know from experience that it's most important to make work that I love. Take their comments to heart, but then focus on my own voice.
What I'm working on, in response to my experiences and the distillation of those concepts of progress, focus and voice:
1) Electroforming. I got strongest feedback from the e-formed beads and vessels I took with me. More of those sold than any other style of work I do. I also have a clearer idea that my scientific background gives me a different perspective on the process of electroforming. I have a long list of experiments to run and I'm contemplating writing a different kind of article to submit -- one that explains more scientifically how and why things happen as they do. Glass beadmakers are used to a lot of technical information and I think they will be much less fearful and much more creative with the technique if they know more. And I will learn too! Once an experimental scientist, always an experimental scientist!!
2) Website. Many people at the Gathering asked about my website. I carefully warned everyone that it's in its infancy at the moment, but will soon grow. I'm lucky to have a computer guru in the house (DH) who will write code for me, if I will tell him all the details of what I want to see. I'm finding that it's much trickier than it looks to specify every little thing. There are only a few pages up and you'd be amazed at how many hours of time have been invested. There should be more soon! And I haven't even thought about the Fiber side of the website. I decided it was easier to start with just one, and glass is what I've been working on most lately.
3) Exposure. I was asked to submit photos and possibly articles about my work. This is something I know I should do, but I haven't yet done anything more than show some of my work in the gallery at Lampwork, Etc. So now I have a list of targets and will get serious about self-publicity.
Of course, there are all those other ideas as well, but in the interest of focus, I will start with these three and try not to go too far astray.
unwinding into summer
1 week ago