Thursday, February 9, 2012

Working with Your Weaknesses

originally uploaded by Lynn_EL/UnaOdd.

As an artist I have struggled with many different weaknesses in my work, as I am sure most artists do. Until now I've been comfortable with my weaknesses, even complacent... explaining it as 'just the way I work'. Recently I have been working to change a lot of things in my life and the way I work and what I produce is one of these things.

I have identified at least two weaknesses, but I'm sure there's a ton more just waiting for me to recognize them!

The first one is my intense desire to experiment and try different techniques. In the process I usually produce a large quantity of examples that end up unused and taking up lots of space in boxes and baggies. The reason is both a mix of lessening interest as another idea takes root and a hesitation to put more time and energy into something when I don't receive immediate success in terms of sales and artistic recognition. The end result has been frustration as I ultimately see others embrace the same technique - taking it to levels of success that leave me feeling like I cheated myself and missed out on opportunities.

My second weakness has been my tendency to use my pieces as single, unconnected elements. I've been content to string a single bead or pendant on a cord or chain and call it my love of simplicity. While I still do enjoy a great element standing on it's own, I have also been forced to admit that I don't feel that combining various elements into a cohesive, strong statement has been a strength of mine. Once I start adding diverse elements everything starts to look and feel awkward to me. I admire artists like my good friend Genevieve Williamson for their ability to create strong, evocative pieces that appear deceptively simple, yet require a very perceptive sensitive vision, and a sophisticated sense of weight, balance, proportion, color, texture...on and on.

The piece in the middle is a new embracing of diverse elements created over the span of two years. Is it successful? Maybe not fully. What I am happy about is the fact that I'm struggling to bring the disparate elements in my life together to make a more cohesive, harmonious whole. It won't always be perfectly balanced or successful, but it certainly is feeling more 'together'.