I’ve finally gotten over the idea that I can’t repeat myself when I write. I found that I was bringing up the same examples, the same stories. I really wrestled with this, feeling that I should go back and rework what I had already written, to update it perhaps.
But sometimes it is good to just write, let it go, and move on. If I go back and rewrite pieces, I feel like I’m not moving forwards. And sometimes what I wrote wasn’t immature, necessarily. It was my viewpoint, from that day, at that time. On another day I’ll want to talk about the same topic, from a different perspective.
Beads have helped me with this. Here are two different necklaces, using the same main beads.
In neither was I able to “say” what I wanted to express when I got the beads. I’ve come to realize that is normal. When the beads are jumbled together in the store or in bins, they spark ideas in my head. But when they have to be put together in a line, such as when they are in a necklace, they just don’t come out the same way as they are in my head.
But here’s the thing – what came out looks good, and nobody knows what I had in my head anyway. The only unhappy person is me.
Now – what I do with that feeling is what matters. It could cause me to stop creating. Or, it can cause me to create more, to try to get across what I was trying to “say”. Or, it can cause me to totally reinvent how I use beads. That too might happen.
I’m looking at incorporating beads and paint and collage. Essentially going 3-D with 2-D stuff. While beads are three dimensional, they aren’t in a way. They lay flat on the body, and you only look at them from one side. Going multi-stranded helps – you have colors and textures “rubbing” up against each other from west and east, rather than just north and south. But wrapping around, and under, and through? That is 3-D, and engages the viewer. The viewer can’t see all that is there in one glance, and will never see the entire piece at once. It is constantly presenting new viewpoints and things to discover.
Is that where I am is going? Maybe. I currently don’t have the skills for that. Yet. But that is part of art too. I think part of what makes an artist is a constant low-level feeling of dissatisfaction. If you are happy with things as they are, you don’t need to create.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
But unhappiness is the mother of art.
It doesn’t mean that I’m depressed. How about unhappy, in the sense of dissatisfied? Or feeling like something is missing? That sense is what drives me to create.
It is funny that creating itself, whether music, painting, collage, writing, beading – can lead to unhappiness. I keep feeling like I almost have it, that it is close, but no cigar. But I’m learning how to be OK with that feeling, and use it to create more. I’m learning how to use my tools and get better at what I do. I’m learning to be patient with the process.
When I first started writing, it could take me five hours to get across what I felt I was trying to say. I feel like I’m much more efficient now. And I’ve learned that with anything I do, the “message” may not come across with the medium. No matter how much work I put into it, the audience may not get what I was trying to give them.
That is OK too. I’m learning that just creating is the goal. I’m learning to just let go, and let God work through me, and in me. I learn when I create. The creations aren’t the goal. It is what I learn while I’m making them. If I can sell them to get more materials to create more things, all the better.