A couple weeks ago Alyson B Stanfield posted The Moment of Flailing Panic. There are many aspects of an art business you can apply this to, as seen in the comments, but I think it is especially important when actually creating art.
When you strive for growth in every piece you create you are often out on a limb when the “Oh Shit” moment comes. “What is this? How did it get to look like this? Is it going to turn around? How could this possibly all come together?” When there is too much “almost” and not enough completed the piece is a mess and quite daunting. This is the place I found myself a year ago when I started working with resins. And I digress…
I’d just bought a piece by Red Wolf and was in the honeymoon phase of adoring my new art. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could learn to create something half as awesome? I bought two gallons of resin, lots of protective gear and started playing. It was a bit of an investment for me but sometimes you just have to jump.
I worked a bit with canvas and mirrors but then drifted back to my greatest love: jewelry. I started trying to make pendants with the help of molds but found these totally wrong. I’d been working outside and discovered (after a minor resin spill) that stones “gleam” forever once resin coated. This made me think of the shore and those first moments when the wave recedes back to the sea leaving gleaming shells and stones in its wake. I was home and at peace instantly and … inspired.
I ditched the molds and went free form with natural materials.
The next couple “attempts” were quite far out on a limb and several of them were just complete failures. I found myself in a month long “oh shit” moment. “These globs are complete trash. What am I doing? If molds fall short and free form isn’t working what is next? What am I going to do with all of this resin? What AM I DOING? Why isn’t this working?”
I was waist high in frustration, wading through failed attempts, no clue where I was going or what was right but I just couldn’t turn away.
And then (finally) the light came. I varied my materials and the amount of resin I was using and one day the “Oh shit” thought was replaced with a “Wow, I think I’m on to something here”. I refined my techniques, developed designs that complimented the materials and then started looking for places to sell my work.
This experience has taught me to keep going when the moment of flailing panic comes even when that moment lasts a month. And to trust my gut. I’ve noticed greater creativity in all of my work since this break through.
Some advice for artists:
- Do not hesitate to learn new techniques.
- Experiment early before you have “mastered” the state of the art, or all of the rules you’ll have to break to innovate.
- When your gut tells you you are not getting the right results keep pushing yourself.
- Work through the “Oh shit” moments – seek them out.