TO DO | TO MAKE
Maybe you haven't noticed, but tallulah has been on a haitus of sorts over the past two years. I've experienced a lot of creative unrest coupled with unfortunate adult responsibilties that have made "building the brand" time hard to come by. I'm sure you're all familiar with adult responsibilities and the time and energy they suck from your day, so there's no need to delve into that business. The biggest and most surprising uphill struggle for me has been creative unrest, that sneaky persistant feeling that you're not reaching your full artistic potential. No creative blocks, no lack of inspiration going on here, just a severe dissatisfaction with your own work.
All artists go through this stage in their work, and I love how eloquently Ira Glass delivers it:
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” (Tom Chandler 2011)
While he's speakng specifically to writers here, I believe the same truth applies to all creative work. So I've spent the past two years in radio silence making all sorts of things. ALL SORTS. I've practiced Shibori, learned how to macrame, written a few short stories for a collection I'm working on with a pal, sketched, watercolored, and am currently learning how to weave textiles. Not a single dress made. All of this crafting and doing with no end point in mind. No finished product that must be sellable at market. The result: pure artistic freedom that let me fail on the regular.
Because we're all doers. We're all makers of something. Not one of us was intended for a one-note existence. The tough part is, most people don't give themselves enough space to make bad work first. Today I encourage you to take some time (even 20 minutes a day) and work on your passion, your hobby, your craft. It took me two frustratingly long years to get myself to where I appreciate my work and feel like I have something to offer you, in fact many different things to offer you. Various fantastic product lines and mini-ventures have been born out of this intensive labor, and I hope you find them as wonderful as I do. Thank you for letting me make and do, and thanks for following along. I can't WAIT to share it all with you.