January 22, 2010
I have not felt creative in a very long time. Did y’all know I got a grant last year? It was for a project. I bought a serger with the money, and a few other supplies, spoke to a couple of people about the project (as it’s collaborative) and then just sort of. . . didn’t. I lost my momentum and spent many, many months caught in the cycle of not working, beating myself up for not working and feeling so bad about it all that I couldn’t work. We shall not speak of it. I have a new, albeit temporary, job, teaching again. And a change of scenery and the energy of the studio classroom is doing me a world of good. Whether it’s going to do me a world of kicking my arse back into the studio and some sort of serious working routine is something I’ll have to get back to you on.
My knitwear design “career” pretty much fizzled out near the end of my first year of grad school, when I took on too many commissions at once and would up totally fucking off and wasting that year while at the same time barely pulling those design commissions out of my very overworked arse. I became that designer who’s a complete cockup, making costly mistakes, turning things in on time or late, and generally being the kind of person you don’t want to work with because they’re too much trouble to chase after all the time. I decided then that I would have to take a break from the design stuff until I was finished grad school if I wanted to succeed there. In the year and a half since receiving my degree, I completed one design that was promised to someone but I was so terribly unhappy with the result, which looked not-so-bad in photos but was not a project of which I felt proud, that I pulled out of publication in order to rework it (and I’m still trying to get that done, in a new yarn, with major changes). And I made another design that should have been so dead simple, but because of my total creative breakdown the project kicked my arse completely and once again I turned it in very, very late, the pattern full of mistakes, feeling like a total failure and no doubt disappointing people who were counting on me NOT being that flaky fuck-up. I do not want to be that person anymore. I want to be the person who considers each project with care and executes it flawlessly, and in a timely fashion. I want to be the person others can count on, not the person they write off as unreliable.
So. I think it’s time I approached my knit design process in the same way I do my studio practice. The project I’ve been dragging my heels on is all about making personalized uniforms for other people in a workplace. I’ve asked three people who are special to me to work with me on some new designs: I’ll give them all a set of interview questions, they’ll send me images, songs, books, whatever things move them. And I’ll stop worrying about what I like, and what sorts of designs I want to work on for myself, and what things knitters want to knit, and just design the ideal perfect sweater (or other knitted thing) for each of those people. Maybe this isn’t so revolutionary, and is in fact what a lot of other designers do. But part of what’s going to get me back in the game is not worrying about other designers and just getting on with working. My way.
En D’Autres Nouvelles
This house has more mirrors than Enter the Dragon but because I’m living with COLLEGE BOYS they are all kinda grody. Anyway. Here I am in the kitchen, a good ten metres at least from my laptop, listening to blip.fm on my expensive new wireless headset. I’m much, much more excited about this than I look. It means I can talk all I want on Skype with my beloved and still knit or draw without the constant worrying about getting my hands caught up in the wires and yanking the ‘phones painfully off my head. Now I can even take my laptop up to the Monastery (where the art department lives) and talk with Peter while I cut woodblocks! Except I won’t be able to tell funny stories about students then, in case any of them are listening. I’ll have to find some funny stories about the housemates. So far the housemate stories all have to do with inconsiderate midnight laundry (the machines are right outside my bedroom door) and dirty dishes and nobody wanting to be the one to replace the empty toilet roll. And that shit’s just not funny.
Posted by jodi on January 22, 2010 at 10.55pm