Observations taken from the first week of my Make pledge to myself include:
1. There are only so many new projects that can be successfully begun in the midst of an otherwise normally busy week. After a while, the existing projects have to be attended to.
2. Interestingly enough, a mental back-and-forth ensued regarding at what point creativity meets the sheer labor of completing a task. So, for instance, designing a knitted garment like a sock (which was not one of the projects I worked on this week) might be extremely creative and challenging; actually knitting the sock, perhaps not as much. Then again, it could be just as much or more so;
3. because the project could end up being one in which you expected it to be very straightforward after the initial design was done only to find that every night over the course of several days you were drawn to working on it for at least an hour, not going to bed until midnight or 1am, and making, debating, criticizing, and/or analyzing each step of the creating process far more than ever was done during the initial creative process.
4. This then brings to mind the art-versus-craft debate, in which I’ve never really held a strong opinion. Nightly forays this week into extended creative efforts have sent me into spiraling mental paths that have planted the nascent opinion (oo, an opinion!) that what matters in the process is the interpretative energy, intention, and decision-making that go on during such.
5. This is good for me. Because I tend toward forms of art and creativity that involve fiber work, they tend to dovetail with some of the more-or-less “traditional” forms of domestic creativity, like knitting and weaving. It is very easy and normal to fall into a pattern of using a formula to make something that has already been created many times over by others. But if I were to, say, weave a kitchen towel but I questioned and debated the placement of each yarn, what it means, what it represents of me, whether I should replace it with that handspun over there (and what does that say in this piece?), isn’t that then venturing into the world of art, where a kitchen towel display can become a medium for a message about domesticity?
I have been very proud in sticking with my pledge to myself. Every day has included at least 10 minutes of focused creative energy (to be honest, each day has included a lot more than 10 minutes). I’ve sat and designed a quilt; meditated on and then completely unwoven a section of a krokbragd/tapestry piece; created SoulCollage cards; worked more on the krokbragd/tapestry piece; worked on the design of a woven article for a guild project; worked more on the krokbragd/tapestry piece, ripped more out, thought more about it, woven more, drawn on the warp in the dark, laughed at myself in derision, felt derivative and shallow, and attempted tapestry when I should have just gone to bed. Then there was some hope that what I was doing meant something, resentment that I was falling over sideways and my knees had fallen asleep, and laying awake with visions of tapestries, rocks and book art dancing in my head.
That was week one.
6. I feel amazing.