Excuse me? Because i count the hours it takes to make something, do my stitching, i’m “cheapening” and “commodifying” my work???????????????????????????????????????

I’m not one to get into that mind-set that all creative work is “meditative”, but there are moments when it comes close. Often, my hands are occupied, while my brain sorts other tasks, or tunes out completely while watching tubage, whether it’s informative, trash, entertainment or “current”. I also sit without outside stimulus, sometimes i’m outside listening to the birds, sometimes i’m on the train conversing with fellow passengers. Time slows and speeds during these periods. “Mindful”? Well, all of creativity is mindful, whether good or bad. Intuition and spontaneity still spring from the subconscious, whether or not my brain is in Alpha, Beta or Theta mode. I will not/do not buy into that arena that says i can be/am only an artist when i am zoned out. I certainly can’t do it while in Delta, but maybe, just maybe, perhaps more likely, some of it is Gamma. Look all that up, the types of brain waves. When you come out of your coma, maybe.

When you PM me to take me to task for counting hours, instead of just “going with the flow”, you are saying my way of working is inferior to yours. You want to get nasty? I think your work that consists of attaching ragged scraps together in a cacaphony of colour and pattern, “embroidered” solely with running stitch and “completed” in two days is the cop out in this case. But that’s just my opinion.

I count hours for good reason. Deadlines must be met, commissions must be paid for –i can’t start a project that takes hundreds of hours to do if the deadline is in two weeks; i can’t AFFORD to sell work that takes hundreds of hours for a pittance, like maybe you’re fine with, because “you love doing it” as you “release the love into the world”.

In the final analysis, i do what i do because i DO LOVE it. You don’t like the way i work, tough beans, BabyCakes. My methods are my own, and they are no more “wrong” than your way. If it turns your crank, go ahead, but hands off the keyboard when you criticize my way as perverse.



13 responses to “FUMING

    • The way i see it is there IS “meditative” stitching when you are working things out for something else, there is Meditation Stitching, a deliberate act, and there is stitching where you’re just in the groove, enjoying what’s coming out without any airy fairy agenda–i am also NOT better than anyone else because of my methods. I ain’t sayin’ that at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Don’t let them get under your skin. Everyone has a right to their opinion. You can simply say, “Thank you for your input,” and then refuse to engage further.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You nailed it Arlee. We all work in our own ways.I have to admit I have started sharing more on Instagram and less blogging (and shut down Facebook completely) because it is a more positive community. I count hours too, exactly for the reasons you state. I also count hours to decide what I make for myself and what to sell; somethings are too time consuming to make sense. Everyone works in different styles and with different mediums and with different skill sets, it is impossible to say one way of working is better than another. For me, meditative rarely happens….I have 5 kids….closest I get is hiding in my room with the door locked and my husband saying “don’t bug mommy”. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, it would make me furious too. I work the way I work whether it’s stitching or anything else and always have and sometimes I’m thinking about the fact that I forgot to call the plumber and it’s too late now dammit and sometimes what’s for dinner and sometimes about the person who will receive what I’ve made. I might even be working out a better way to do what I’m doing because it’s too time-consuming and I’ll be bored rigid before I finish if I don’t find a quicker way! Today I’ll probably be thinking about why artists, any artist, is expected to work for nothing just because they love what they do . . . and count the hours.

    It’s fine to say you work differently from someone else but not to criticise how they work.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well stated response, Arlee. No person is in a position to evaluate how another’s process with making art, or writing poetry, or playing music goes forward, or how to value that process. We are each guiding, so to speak, our own ship, with our own oars and tiller/rudder….how the course develops is, indeed, just a piece of our own journey.
    Certainly would let this writer take a hike…..and just keep on with the story of who you are as artist. Love seeing your work, following your processes as you write the blog…all good stuff for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I keep a log book in my studio. Like a laboratory notebook. For a lot of reasons but yes, I also count hours. And DAYS! And MONTHS! And somehow that hasn’t interfered with my creativity but rather, supports it. And yes, helps my meet my commitments–those deadlines! I track my time to honor my work and to honor my process.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you all! I wasn’t looking for much discussion on the subject, but am pleasantly surprised by the responses. There were a couple of other good points raised on my initial posting on FB (you know who you are 🙂 )—if you’re serious about what you do, there are times when it becomes GRUNT work (you power through to the place that makes you happy, to get to the next step, to meet a deadline), if you can only “make art” while in your “happy place”, you may not get much done, not all art IS made from harmony and good will, commitment to a piece/self/buyer does not always allow for self reflection, and timing for proper remittance and compensation purposes does not make the artist a sellout or diminish the work. And not all of us either have the luxury of days on end spent on our art, where nothing interferes, where there are no Real Life interruptions, where the people around you let you just be. Most of us also haven’t the privilege of having enough money to be able to forgo the DayJob, and just create Art, so time IS money, no matter whether it’s to pay the mortgage or buy a few more supplies to keep creating.

    And you can bet that once the piece is done, *most* buyers/audiences don’t/won’t See or get your own time/honour/respect/mindfulness (buzzword, buzzword, buzzword) that you put in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, this brings back memories !!!
    My mother always said ” if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all !”
    Words to live by and I have always tried my best.
    Tho’ my silence these last few months has nothing to do with not finding something nice to say … just busy COUNTING the days, weeks and months that I have been non-creative 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great rant Arlee, and also the subsequent discussion. I try to keep track of my hours but I know I miss a lot of them. Inevitably, one of the first comments I get when people see my work is: ‘That must have taken a lot of time.” And I like to have at least a ballpark figure so people will understand the value of my time, effort, thought, etc.I think that part of the final power of the piece is that evidence of concentrated attention and focus. It becomes embedded in the work.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: how much does a year? | albedo too

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