I used to judge myself on how many things were finished in a year . In the last six years, i’ve let myself slow down, with technique, thinking process, research and results. It’s much more satisfying for me to view work that i am connected to *because* i have taken “more time”. It seems very much to me that quantity over quality, fast fix over real depth has become the way for some to feel they are Artists. I don’t believe any of the masters in any other medium keep a ledger on how many paintings/sculptures/plates/widgets, whatever they have produced each month. It actually makes me laugh too when i see articles about the newest stitching SuperStar “who takes up to 35 hours to do each piece!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!” Some of us count into the several 100’s, even 1000’s………… No, it doesn’t make us better/more involved/more enlightened, but please, it doesn’t mean we are not conscious of what we are doing just because we count them either. (All creativity is mindful)
Time also has the advantage of your voice and style being added to the work. When you slow down (and i’m not talking about just hand stitching or embroidery here, as that is *not* what “slow” means or what the Slow Cloth movement is about), you actually have the luxury of really looking at what you are doing, can ask yourself if design elements or techniques actually fit with what you are doing, if what you are doing is truly important enough to you to actually/factually do, and really get personal with the cloth. You also learn to fix mistakes, not just cover them up–though as we all know, the occasional mistake can be serendipitous. That can apply to machine work, or any of the fancy “buy more product” mixed media projects as well. It often seems also that speed kills creativity in the competition to try everything, new under the sun or not.
I don’t want to be prolific anymore, i want to be profound. (Even if that is only in *my* head, not recognized by my “peers”…) Of course, the last paragraph of this post aside–because time is precious, does not last forever, and who might die tomorrow?—- time is also needed to play, to experiment, to simply fart around, but time also must be used wisely and judiciously so that millisecond of Profundity is recognized and acted upon.
Over the last five months of this year, having finished a really large intensive commission, i have found myself at an impasse with my work. I pull out things: sketches, fabrics, notes and get all excited, then realize the momentary WhatIf is not a sustainable mood or strong enough desire to actually do it. I’m an Idea Gadbee right now i guess, too many flowers to visit, not enough time to get back to the inner Hive. There are an awful lot of posts here in the time since “Tabula Memoria” that will just have to sit and seed. I don’t like being one of those people who posts over and over about what they are GOING to do, instead of just doing it. Or not 🙂 Admittedly, my work blog has a hell of a number of those, but that’s good for future mining.
These last few weeks of the year 2017 are being spent with noodling around, and returning to, if not finishing, a few old old old projects that *do* want to be worked on OR finished (still not counting with those), and so, whatever happens, happens.
It’s not so much about the hand, as it is the involved mind. Originality doesn’t arrive at lightening speed, nor does Becoming an Artist. In the words of The Old English Poets “Ti-i-i-ime is on my side, yes it is, yes it is.”