I question myself. Who doesn't? Sometimes, when I'm working on a new design, I'll know immediately that I've hit the mark. Mission accomplished. Next. However, there are those times when I'm too close to my work and lose my objectivity. Then I question.
I spent the afternoon in the studio while hubby took our boys and nephew to pick up a fridge for his shop. I had a second go at creating a hippo bank and thought I'd gotten it better than the last attempt but there was that question. I've kinda gotten into the habit of presenting a new animal bank or birdhouse design to my boys and asking them to identify it. So when they got home I unveiled him and just asked "What is it?". To my delight 3 out of the 4 said "It's a hippo!". My middle son, (Mr. Contradictory) said "It's a pig!". I've come to expect this from him. He says everything I make looks like a pig. So I don't count his vote. But it still nags at me if he really thinks it looks like a pig or is he teasing me again.
The cyber kick in the pants appears to have worked. I got some of my creative mojo back. I spent most of the day in the pottery room. Unfortunately, I kept having to take breaks to warm up. Although the garage studio is well heated and we have rubber mats on the cement floor the cold still manages to seep into my bones. If I ignore the chill too long it'll take all day to feel warm again. So every couple of birdhouses I have to rinse off and go upstairs to stave off the chill.
In the summer I can play all day long with only food and potty breaks. The mud mojo flows! Maybe that's what's been squashing my motivation lately. My bones are sending silent protest petitions to my subconscious which, in turn, pushes other activities to the forefront of my mind to distract me from potting. Hmmm. Me thinks me smells me a conspiracy! But I'm onto them now and I know where they live, those bones! Bwa ha ha ha....
Motivation seems to be escaping me lately. I had one good day last week when I started several birdhouses and banks. But that was it. Just a glint and now it's gone.
It probably has a lot to do with my husband. Somehow, I'm able to blame just about everything on him in some way, poor thing. He started a new business almost 2 years ago after losing his job and it's doing so well he's now renting space in town to operate out of. Unfortunately, I ended up being clean-up girl. The place was a machine shop and it's been vacant for a while so you can imagine the old, black, greasy, dusty man-mess I was facing. Yuck!
Anyway, that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. I've been working on officey stuff in between helping hubby out. It's not like I've been unbelievably busy, I'm just not feeling motivated to get back into the studio. So maybe writing about it will help or some sympathetic soul will come by and give me that swift kick I so desperately need!
This is something I've repeated umpteen times to my boys over the years, particularly during homework time. It can be very challenging at times, especially if it's a subject they don't like. But in order to succeed you must focus and get it done.
You've heard the expression "Physician, heal thyself.". Well, in this case it's more like "Mother, parent thyself."! I need to sit still and focus. The world of pottery is too vast. The possibilities are endless. The learning is endless. Every time I turn around there are more and more ideas of what I want to try being presented to me. I envision myself on the wheel putting my own twist on different things: bowls, mugs, cookware, vases, etc. All useful things and I love the idea of someone preparing dinner or enjoying their morning coffee with something I made. But....
I've learned over the past few years that I'm not a production potter. That means sitting down with 20 lumps of clay and churning out identical bowls one after the other then glazing them to make matching sets. This is an impressive skill that I've tried and had a little success with. But every time I do, after 3 or 4 bowls, I realize my heart's not in it. I know this is how many potters make a living but it's just not my thing.
Stubby has chickenpox
When I get the creative juices flowing it isn't mugs and bowls that pop into my head. It's faces of sassy, little critters smirking and smiling at me. My first sad attempt at creating a functional birdhouse ---> ---> ---> ---> --->
was primitive and useless but pretty darn funny looking! I think it was the humorous aspect that kept me going until I got it right. What started out as a daydream during church (shh, don't tell the pastor but it could have been Divine inspiration!) has evolved into birdhouses, banks and garden decor that I LOVE! I have such a good time creating my critters (I even talk to them!) that when I see someone's reaction to them it makes my day even if they don't end up buying one. I just think "They get it!" That's why I'll continue to do craft shows. There's nothing more telling than peoples faces when they're viewing your art. My favorites are the people that stop dead in their tracks, mouths dropped open then bust out laughing. It kills me when I see people walk by my booth, look at my guys and not register any reaction. But then I console myself by thinking they're distracted and maybe looking but not seeing. Either way they're not getting it. How sad for them.
So, focus! As we're facing a new year we need to evaluate and set business goals, which is what's prompting this tirade. I think I've found my niche and I need to concentrate more of my efforts there this year. Focus! I have to resist the temptation to try everything that passes through my mind or in front of my eyes. Focus! I need to focus on the joy, the smiles, the whimsy, the playful spirit that's buried in all of us and just needs a little poke to show it's beautiful face. I'm living proof that laughter is the best medicine and I don't care how happy you are, everyone can use more joy and that's gonna be my focus. Through my work I will bring more joy into the world whether it likes it or not!