25. Art after ~art~
Still making things, now and again.
I thought I’d make an honest post about what it looks like for me to make art, post-Instagram.
I don’t have a clean answer yet. I look to artists like Amanda, who is similarly going “off the grid,” for inspiration. But I also know this is a path I need to chart for myself.
So far, it doesn’t look like a lot of painting or photography. Since before Christmas, I’ve been moving in the direction of textiles: specifically, knitting and embroidery.
The first embroidery hoop I tried, I completed between November and December.
I enjoyed embroidering the roses so much that I bought another, palm-sized hoop kit. One of my students thought that viewed from the side, this one looked like spaghetti.
There’s something comforting about keeping my hands busy with needle and thread while watching a TV show. Admittedly, I’ve also been lazy about breaking out the paintbrushes, canvases, and assorted slew of equipment, trying to keep my place clean for guests.
Incidentally, as I invite more guests to my home, I’ve been cooking more. Trying new recipes gives me a similar satisfaction to artistic creation, and also inspires me to fine-tune the recipe next time.
Whenever I consider returning to painting, I feel stymied by perfectionism, not wanting to ruin a piece that doesn’t even exist yet. I comfort myself by considering the small victory that this new brand of perfectionism isn’t compounded by comparison, or a sense of disappointment that I haven’t done “more” like others do on their feeds. At least now, I can sense more freedom in my choice to make, or not to make.
Sometimes, I consider returning to creative writing, as I’d done in college – perhaps a short story or poem? Unfortunately, perfectionism takes hold here as well. My ideas are hampered by my desire to figure out the whole thing – metaphors, symbolism, story arc, tone, use of words etc. – before I ever put pen to paper.
In the coming months, I want to adopt more of a “write to edit” attitude. Besides, it’s still early in the year. This year of art doesn’t HAVE to be any one thing. I think it’s okay for me to keep exploring this new frontier, enjoying the lack of pressure from feeling I need to produce perfectly “publishable” or “shareable” work. My creative process could benefit from more room for play, and going with the flow; I believe that’s been true for a while, but now is the perfect time to take that to heart.
What are you creating in your life these days – whether it’s art, meals, or something else less tangible?