20 November 2012

Getting Back, Must

Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes - 12

I started a new job recently.  It's a second one.  They are both part time and both I do remotely.  So I am spending a lot of time in front of three computer screens.  It's exciting, really fun, and intense.  I am enjoying it quite a bit, but it is also taking me away from my art making.  

It's not simply as a matter of time taken from art.  That's just a matter of re-jigging the necessity of an income with this new daytime schedule I have.  No, it's more than that.  I've gotten rather efficient at using my computers to make stuff.  This blog, some silly images for this year's NaNoWriMo Typewriter Brigade, the illustrated letters I send off to pen friends.  I'm no Photoshop whiz but it's easy for me to put stuff together.  Too easy in a way.  And I realized this morning that I've been letting that ease lull me into a kind of procrastinated funk.  I have stopped making with my hands.

I'm not upset at this or angry with myself.  Those are useless emotions for this kind of thing.  But I am a little surprised.  I thought I had some momentum going. I happened on the site above. It's a bit slick for my tastes, but the content is useful for me right now.  I read two of their articles; one denoting what makes an amateur artist vs a professional artist; another on how artists can so effectively procrastinate.   

The best advice I got from them is this: I need to make some bad stuff and just get over it. Bad stuff.  Poorly imagined. Clumsily executed.  I am afraid to make bad stuff and that arrogance has got me stopped in my tracks.

The second best advice I took away from it was that I need to calm down a bit.  As any of you who use computers a lot know, this kind of work has a way of physically ramping one up.  I know this when I see the Firefox task bar superimposed over my dream imagery.  I know this when, like last night, my sleep feels too strangely electric and odd. 

So, here I go to settle myself down a bit.  One good quieting place was this  site: This was really neat; called to mind some early childhood mornings in Wisconsin's Nicolet National Forest or on my grandparents' farm.

This image above is one of the places you can rest yourself at there.

And I watched this video - at full screen resolution.

Manos, Pottery Studio from Homegrown Swedes on Vimeo.

Next, clearing my art desk and making something 
and trying not to worry when it comes out not how I want it to.  


  1. Good to hear you are enjoying your jobs. It must be nice to work from home. The amateur vs pro is a good discussion in almost anything.

    Generally people think a professional is better because they get paid a salary. Many times I find amateurs are better, well rounded, and many times better educated (not degree-wise always either) than many pros. Learned it it the fire service where many volunteers or amateurs were much more dedicated and trained than many of the professionals.

  2. Just returned from calm.com. It could be habit forming.

    1. Wish one could set the "calm" videos to longer than 10 minutes! I like to have it on one of my screens while working on the others.

      As for the amateur vs professional. There seems to be something of a 'class war' thing going on there as well. I think it is a matter of how deeply one is committed to one's work. The notion that if you are not doing art everyday means you are not committed to being an artist is balderdash on some levels. On some levels not - but it's a rare bird who can do just art. Personally, I need to buy groceries and pay the rent, so compromises re: time gotta be made.

  3. That video is made of awesome. Granted, it does make me miss clay even more, but still. Wow. She makes it look so easy. There is something I don't know about watching a good potter throw...
    Now I really miss clay.

    1. The ease with which she works is as fascinating to me as what she makes. I love this one too.

  4. Watching a master potter at work is something everyone should see at least once. I men, seeing a two foot tall pitcher come out of what doesn't oook like enough clay is insane... Or giant plates... Or watching this little old guy push twentypounds around like it's nothing...
    *goes to console onself with teabowls. I love thrwoing teabowls*


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