I came to an artistic epiphany this past week.
I know I mentioned in an earlier post about being good enough. That's always been the one thing that's held me back; I'm so very critical of my own work. For me, being objective on my own work is really hard. I expect perfection, even when I know there's no way to achieve it. I was working on a baby quilt this last week, and while machine quilting I did notice that my quilting wasn't straight on the top, and that the back had a few places where the fabric bunched up a bit. I looked at it, trying to decide if I should take it out, and telling myself, "See, this is why you shouldn't be quilting." Then it hit me. This is a baby quilt. It's for a baby. I made it to be used, and I hope it's used often. It's going to be thrown on the floor, in the car, thrown up on, and washed a bazillion times. The infant this quilt is for won't care that the stitching isn't perfect, that not all the blocks match exactly. It's bright and fun on one side, and soft and cuddly on the other.
The most startling thing, however, was the realization that I will never get any better if I don't practice. And not just the quilting. Everything I do. In order to get good, I have to work at it. Thinking about it won't make me a better artist. I need to create art!
Now a lot of you are saying, "Well, duh!", but for me this really is a big deal. Actually, not just for me. I was talking to a friend the next day, and she was telling me about the quilt she was working on the past weekend. She said she was in tears, just frustrated because it wasn't good enough. I smiled, and told her my story. I think she understood. I hope she did. She did agree with me, so perhaps she does understand.
Well, I'm now buzzing with artistic endeavors! I'm furiously working on a piece that has to be in the offices of a magazine on March 8. I don't know that it will get done, especially since I haven't even cut the fabric yet! Fortunately, it's only 12" square, and pretty simple, so there's a possibility it will get done. And then there's another piece that has to be mailed before the end of March. I should have that one done, as it too is not too complicated, and is only 16" square. If I don't get either of those done for their respective Calls, I can always enter them into my guild's show in May.
Right now, I have 21 Call for Entry possibilities. A couple I've actually decided not to submit to because, realistically, there just isn't time. Four of them aren't due until the beginning of 2011, so I've got big plans for those! Not all are quilts, but they all use fabric as a base. I am after all, a fiber artist. :-}
Until next time, take care.
P.S. By the way, here's the baby quilt. Today is her last day at work before going on leave, and the shower was at lunch. She loved it!