Turning the dial up to 11 on creative risks, pushing the material envelope and number of individual pieces completed. Making in multiples, with slight variations. If it doesn’t work out after bringing them to market, keep the best of the best and cannibalize the rest for the next cycle. Be ruthless in your edits, but still follow the thread that unites the collection. Ask for feedback, be grateful for hard critique if you can get it. Don’t take it personally. Research design precedents, but don’t be consumed by them. Sketch, a lot, then move on a few times, abandoning whatever you started. Stop, turn around. Pickup whatever materials happen to be immediately in front of you and will them into taking shape. Repeat.

DSC_0066Neckpiece: Wool, brass, copper, embroidery floss, machine stitched.

Ramping-up daily production ahead of deadlines is both energizing and fatiguing. It’s good to clear all channels, opening her up on the straightaway of maker space. Increasing production also beckons production schedules, accounting software, SEO (throwing up in my mouth) and more. These too can be creative exercises, challenging values and resources. The greatest of these, however, is keeping the focal point of all this effort on the art. Toward which quarter is it growing, pulled by the light of creative imagination?

The immediate benefits of daily production include clearing personal energy, the gratification of seeing something completed, constantly flexing the brain through creative problem-solving, small bits of public recognition and the legitimization of my story as someone who is a contributing member of society. The long game, for me, is the pursuit of an honest living, perhaps a greater way of plugging-in and leaving a useful legacy about a way to see or interact with the world.

 

Detail of hammered brass ‘scales’, on neckpiece pictured above.

One of the weirder things about this whole making for market thing, though, is the way it just seems to lurch along from season to season. There are great pushes in creative output, great amounts of energy getting to events, then there’s a deflation after showing, gaps in between when all is quiet and lonely. Being saturated with social interaction and forgetting how to communicate due to becoming antisocial in the cloister of your work space. Sometimes keeping a healthy mental and emotional balance feels like sitting on the edge of a razor.

ktrip

Neckpiece based on a strange attractor, a mathematical model in fluid dynamics.

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