I have a strong tolerance for discomfort. I can avoid, ignore, evade or go Vague in regards to the ‘stuff’ that needs to be organised. It still boils down to the fact I cannot and will not move forward easily until I vanquish the obstacles in my way.
For the longest time I’ve procrastinated being an artist and living my artist life. It is actually denying what is true for me, denying my own self and my own being. When I do make my art I feel so happy and satisfied. When I make my art it seems such a simple and an easy thing to do. It feels right.
This story of denial is played out through procrastination, unmade decisions, the build up of ‘stuff’ in my life, physical obstacles that stop me before I start. For example, my studio workspace is in a constant state of flux, always needing to be cleared, is cleared, then back to being a tip again. I do make some progress sorting it out and where I have taken control, things have stayed sorted. I can put a working system into place, organise all the tools together so I know where to find them (and put them away) I can eliminate items that I no longer need. I can remove old projects that distract from making the art I want to make.
There are so many unfinished compositions of pieced ‘patchwork’ cloth waiting to be quilted, so many cloths created along one theme or another, then so many ideas come cascading down when I start yet another new idea. This has been my ongoing story. It is currently my place in the scheme of things.
So I’ve decided to approach this challenge by taking this Chakra Quest with Anodea Judith alongside my yoga practice, with the intention of unblocking the stuck energy, of being able to access the cause of the fear that underpins this procrastination habit. To work with chakra energy to integrate the body, mind and soul. To be able to move forward confidently, competently to finish and create the art that I am to make.
It is interesting though, because in my plan to finish some small colour and pattern studies, I am hand quilting them as opposed to the original plan ( made so long ago ..!.) to machine quilt them. And here’s what I have found : that I love, love the motion and meditative quality of hand quilting. I have been consistently quilting these pieces since I started. I love the textured look and handle of the cloth. That my energy penetrates all the layers, I’m putting myself in there. The stitches create a soft, beautiful, wholly integrated cloth.
I’m hoping that this bodes well for my chakra work .
It is my day 53 in the #100 Days of Making Project. I say ‘my’ day 53, because the A* people are on day 63. This ten day gap has opened up and revealed secret thought processes (once I got over berating myself !) Thought processes that have been running the show for the longest time and that have contributed to major procrastination issues. I’m amazed really, that it’s taken so long for me to see this and I’m amazed at being held hostage for so long too.
This is all good, because now I know what I’m dealing with.
Instead of unpicking the white letters I added more, which adds a raised dimension and sets the letters in relief. I used a plain weave white cloth and stitched coloured thread to soften the edges. I made a feature of the ‘Y’ using gingham and a different font , notice how the new yellow stitches around the ‘e’ accentuates it.
For a lucid approach to decision making check out this
I claim to be an artist.
I think of myself as an artist, I’ve been practising my artist intro.
I have a BA Hons degree.
I can make textiles..weave,spin fibres,print,knit,crochet,dye…
I can sew cloth-pretty much anything..handbags, hats,dresses,trousers,curtains, cushions,quilts, banners….
So the indication is there.
Yet do my actions match my words?
Do I live/breathe/make/create art ….YES….. on a regular self sustaining £$£ basis?..No
No. I try sporadically, have flurries of £$£ activity and all the while at the day job I think about what I will do When….what will happen When...I plan, I prepare,take classes, visualise my future artist life When…..
Because as my grand-daughter and I sing
‘Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink..( our favourite colour) Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think…..’
WHEN? NOW! and is Why I am taking art marketing lessons.
Giving myself a deadline to finish Aaliyah’s quilt was an attempt to kick the procrastination, instead all manner of obstacles presented themselves…….
So I decided to treat each obstacle as a learning opportunity, to listen out for the thinking behind the ‘difficulty’, to identify what informed the thought.
One learning choice was to listen to ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracy, which amongst other things, throws insight onto why deadlines don’t work.
So, whilst hand sewing under and around all the raw edges of Aaliyah’s quilt, I listened to words of encouragement, stitch by stitch I heard news of the positive consequences of doing this….doing that…., stitch by stitch I heard an endorsement of the positive feelings to experience following this advice. It is a strategy I recommend to help you move along in your work, because stitch by stitch I heard refreshing, encouraging words which hopefully all the little stitches have captured and are now wrapped around Aaliyah.
These are large pieces of fabric, destined for large pieces of work.
My accumulation of fabric started in the 70’s, yes in the 70’s! and came from dressmaking off cuts and selected clothes that I had liked. I remember thinking that i needed a good supply of colours to be able to make quilts. I think I may have enough now……
the accumulation of stuff , I think, is very much tied in to procrastination…… is not about delaying starting something, rather, it is about delaying letting go.