Patience In Practice

I love learning, I find it extremely important to always be growing and improving. Since I was a kid, I had a habit of studying subjects I was not required to study. During summers, I would be in the library, checking out book after book. I always had my head in a book learning about certain artistic periods or facts about animals in some far off place. I want to know as much as I can know before my time is up. But the problem is, I want to know it now.

If I am studying a certain skill; I would take my time researching and studying it. But when I was ready to put it into practice, I would rush the project. And when it did not look exactly like I wanted it to look, I would get very disappointed and self disparaging. I had no patience for the process. Which caused me to write off a lot of projects and there possibilities.

I remember when I was learning to bind books. This was a perfect example of when I had so little patience, I did not even research. I looked at a few books, thought about how they might be put together and pretty much winged it. For insight, my process for bookbinding involved a power drill. Now, the books came out looking like books but they were not the best quality. For the most part, I was proud of them. Made them out of reused materials and scrap paper from my students’ projects. I was actually able to sell a few but looking back, I am not proud of selling such a poor quality product.

During this period, I was having a discussion with a couple of friends, we were discussing our project process. The process for their projects took days. My friends would spend time planning and executing their projects. They spent the proper amount of time with a project; to create something of quality. But me, I just wanted it done and so I could move on to the next. Which caused me to proudly exclaim, “I get too excited to see what it (my project) will look like, I get so excited to finish!” My friend smirked and replied, “Too excited or impatient?” This was the best way to call me out on my b.s. process, it was impatience. I was not excited, I just wanted it to be over. I did not care enough to produce something of quality. I just wanted it to magically happen and that’s not how it works. Anyone can throw something together and call it art. But quality art comes from involvement, concentration, practice, time and planning. There needs to be a reason to the rhyme.

Now, when I start a project, I start from the very beginning. Sketching and planning. I actually plan out colors and fabrics before I begin. What a novel idea! I sketch and write out how I will assemble a project, what the steps will be. What materials will I need? Then, when I actually physically begin creating the piece, I take my time…I let things dry! If I am having a tough time with a seam or creating a design, I will walk away. Let it sit over night or for a day. I am now involved in the process of my projects and I am now very proud of the product I produce.

~C.A.

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