Lately I have been struggling of sorts. Approaching my 30’s and reflecting back over my 20’s. So what has changed? That feeling of invincibility has evaporated.. The notion of wanting to be good at everything looks unrealistic from where I sit today.
What if I only have time to be great at a few things? What if I can only be masterful at one craft?
I feel very mortal today. The humanity of self-reflection and the peace of a clear conscience is actually better than imagined. I live a life today that is honest and without regret. I just need to express that sentiment through my work!
In my 20’s I was in search of some sort of shortcut. Convinced there had to be another way outside of the rigorous work ethic my mother and father showed me. I have come to the conclusion, that if you want to be great/masterful at something it requires a lifelong commitment.
If I seek the easier route or a shortcut (which on many occasions I have) unsatisfying results occur. Not being able to sleep at night for the past few months has given me a few gifts.. I am no longer interested in TV or Movies. Zero tolerance for energy vampires (someone whose influence leaves me feeling exhausted after the interaction).
I have used my sleepless nights to research ceramics and screen printing. For whatever reason I am able to read but not focus on anything outside of my conquest.
My latest print run showed me how much I have grown since July. I was glowing with accomplishment by the end of the night. I felt like I was on top of the world.
In ceramics, I have also grown. Surely there is still lots of learning to be done. I feel optimistic that I am right where I am supposed to be.
Over the course of the next few weeks I will be traveling Vancouver Island and visiting with local artisans: potters. Getting a first hand look and listening to their experiences.
What is all the fuss about buying handmade? Why should consumers care? Does the work feel lonely?
Alone time +
Imagination = Creativity
I personally didn’t get it in my early twenties.. It was all about value/ quantity for my $$. And then the veil was lifted.. I had taken a sabbatical from my university studies (dropped out) to apprentice a master glassblower/lamp worker. It felt like overnight, I had an appreciation for artisan craftsmanship.
To put it more bluntly, I tried to make a beautiful glass piece myself and it sucked. Then it cracked off the rod and smashed into hundreds of pieces. As I stared in disbelief.. I thought this is really hard.
Ceramics has always commanded attention from me. It was the craft that I loved most in school growing up. The potter’s wheel was something that intrigued and mystified me. I remember in high school watching A friend throw on the wheel, she would throw beautiful bowls with ease.
Then I tried.. Hours later. Lots of goop. No bowls, no mugs, just a ceramic mess. Looking back, I just over thought everything and wanted immediate beauty and gratification. 10 years later, I still want beauty but I am willing to wait for it. It’s just a slow play. Keeping it simple, is a hard pill to swallow.
I can totally relate to the frustration of not being able to make things happen right away–not fair to put in the effort and sweat but not be able to make it happen. What a blow to my ego, when usually I can grasp things fairly easily. I took the beginner’s wheel class 3 x at the community centre and made every mistake possible, even to the puzzlement of my instructor. I think I flung a lot of clay on my instructor, classmates, it got in my ears and eyes and hair, coming home as if having been at war with myself, clay shrapnel everywhere. The learning curve was hard on my ego but determination and dedication won out, though I have learned about humility, and that I’m never through with learning with clay (luckily).
It is a profound statement of a person ~ it does not matter how many tons of clay one needs to thrown on the wheel ~ what matters is to see, hear, and keep on keeping on until the lessons are learned