Monday, April 30, 2012

Practice Makes

I've been out of school for almost five years now. It's not what I planned... because I did have a plan. And it was a rather good plan at that. Grad school, teaching, settling down. Yeah, not so much. There are lots of reasons the plan hasn't worked out and it's easy to get down on myself for not doing more. You know. MORE: more art, more shows, more money... more work.

But sometimes it's worth reminding myself that I haven't been idle. (Ha, right? Those of you who know me probably wouldn't come up with the word "idle" to describe me. Workaholic, maybe...) But sometimes idle is how I feel- the part of idle that refers to worth. Maybe it's my rigorous art school background that demands that I appraise all of my creative actions on a societal scale of value: the larger, more physically tangible and conceptually ethereal the better. Maybe that's just not how I work. I'm starting to suspect that it may never have been how I worked.

Nobody has told my brain that, though.

That's where my sketchbooks come in.

I don't do much drawing, but I always always have something to write down: ideas, notes, words, lists, concepts, worries, plans, schemes... And so here I am, five years later, suddenly with tangible evidence of my working

I started a new sketchbook this morning and it simultaneously felt like starting over and continuing on: like a reaffirmation of my identity. I don't know yet how that comfort relates to the plan, or even if it does at all. I don't know if I should promise myself to try to get out of my sketchbook and into my studio more or if I should throw myself head first into the sketchbook and guilt be damned. I just don't know. 

But I do know it was a good morning. 

Practice Makes is a reminder to myself that any doing is doing, any thinking is in the right direction. Much like a yoga practice, you have to allow yourself to be effected by your art practice and nurture it lovingly and with patience. Practice doesn't have to make perfect, but all practice changes you. All practice makes.

Spring 2012: Chicago

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

It's good to have a plan. But it's also important work to learn that sometimes the plan changes and sometimes there are periods of time where we don't really have a plan at all.

I've spent the last six months feeling like I've just been treading water when my whole life plan became no longer an option. I felt directionless, lost, unaccomplished. But man, looking back on these past few months I've made so much. I've learned so much, I've met so many amazing people. It's not the living and the work that I thought I'd be doing but I'm grateful to be where I am right now.

My mantra for the rest of the year is: more dance, more plants, more magic. I think you can relate. Let's talk soon. I miss you always.